Tech Goliaths including Facebook and Google Secrecy Complaints Subject to GDPR Complaints

June 20, 2018



European Union Privacy inquiries are investigating after Google, Facebook Inc. and its apps WhatsApp and Instagram after 19 cross-border grievances presented to watchdogs since GDPR law became enforceable on May 25.

Andrea Jelinek, the EU Main Controller of Data Secrecy, disclosed that the grievances are already being probed in a discussion with Bloomberg Television. She said: “The significant message is that our first job is not to penalize the businesses, but to examine if they are conforming,” Nevertheless, she added that if businesses “do not match the requirements of the rule, they might be penalized.”

Firms now face colossal penalties if they are found to have been in breach of the GDPR legislation. The highest amount of penalty is 4% of the yearly international income or €20m, whichever amount is higher. Ms. Jelinek emphasized that she and her associates look into the inquiries on each circumstance with the pertinent authority in each country where the main European base of the targeted firm is situated.

The case versus the technology goliaths has been recorded by Austrian Attorney and secrecy supporter Max Schrems. After the May 25 launch date of GDPR, three grievances worth €3.9 billion were presented versus Facebook and two companies, WhatsApp and Instagram through data watchdogs in Austria, Belgium, and Hamburg. A separate grievance valued at €3.7 billion was recorded with French data safety authority France CNIL in relation to Google’s Android operating system for smartphones. Schrems has been at the center of earlier legal fights in relation to data secrecy. In 2013 he started a legal action to try and prevent Facebook from moving data from its European headquarter in Ireland to the USA.  After this, in 2014, he started a class action court case versus Facebook, based in Ireland, through the Austrian legal system.

Schrems lately established a non-profit organization named None of Your Business (noyb) that targets to used legal actions like this to annul the capability of the big tech firms to collect data that they then use to sell targeted marketing.