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Amazon: a record penalty in Europe for advertising without consent

Just a few weeks ago, Amazon presented its financial results for the second quarter of the year, where advertising accounted for the e-commerce giant a game of 7,914 million dollars, 87% more. In its breakdown of results, the company Burundi Email List, with positive numbers on all fronts, reported a sanction of 746 million euros imposed by the European Union due to non-compliance with the rules of treatment of personal data. The investigation was carried out in Luxembourg, because that is where the American company has its European headquarters.

This fine is a maximum in terms of privacy and violation of the European Data Protection Regulation after the one Google received in 2020, quantified at 158.3 million euros. The decision derives from a claim filed in 2018 by Le Quadrature du Net, an organization focused on the defense of the rights and freedoms of citizens on the Internet, which alleged that Amazon directed its advertising to users even when they do not grant it the free consent to it. Beyond this imposition, the community authorities affirmed that they will review “the advertising practices” of the company that have to do with its activity in Europe.

Amazon’s response was immediate and the giant was blunt, stating that it would appeal the decision and denying that it had committed “any data protection violation and therefore no customer data has been exposed to third parties.” Therefore, the company considers that the facts are “indisputable” and that the decision regarding how they show customers relevant advertising “is based on subjective and unproven interpretations of European privacy legislation, so the proposed fine it is totally disproportionate, even with that interpretation ”.

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It is not the first time that Amazon has faced a similar process in Europe, since in December 2020 it was subject to another sanction, together with Google, for using tracking cookies without the consent of users. This penalty was imposed by the French Data Protection Agency (CNIL) and had an amount of 42 million euros. The text of the complaint also stated that both technology multinationals were not showing sufficiently clear information for the user to understand how cookies worked and how they could reject them.

In the two legal cases, there is the same background in the justification of the organizations, which exercise protectionist work in the face of what they consider to be practices that take advantage of digital ambiguity. The institutions point out that this type of activity threatens the privacy of Internet users in their daily digital life, since they allow “to collect numerous information about people without their consent and then be able to propose personalized advertising”, according to the CNIL in its opinion socialposts.

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