The EU hit Amazon with a record-breaking fine over misuse of data
Luxembourg's National Commission for Data Protection (CNPD) hit Amazon with a record-breaking 746 million ($887m) fine over the way it uses customer data for targeted advertising purposes. In an SEC filing on Friday, Amazon stated that it would defend itself vigorously in the matter. An Amazon spokesman said that maintaining the security of customers' information and their trust is a top priority.
No customer data has been exposed to any third parties. These facts are undisputed. We intend to appeal, and we disagree with the ruling.
The decision relating to how we show customers relevant advertising relies on subjective and untested interpretations of European privacy law, and the proposed fine is entirely out of proportion with even that interpretation. The French privacy rights group La Quadrature du Net, which claims to represent the interests of thousands of Europeans to ensure their data isn't used by big tech companies to manipulate their behavior for political or commercial purposes, made the complaint that resulted in the penalty. The complaint, filed on behalf of more than 10,000 customers, alleges that Amazon manipulates customers for commercial purposes by choosing what advertising and information they receive.
The fine issued by the CNPD came after three years of silence that made us fear the worst. The model of economic domination based on the exploitation of our privacy and free will is profoundly illegitimate and contrary to the values of our democratic societies. Amazon must commit to changing its practices according to the CNPD.
Amazon didn't specify what revised business practices it is proposing, and the regulator has not publicly committed to its decision. Amid heightened scrutiny of Amazon's business in Europe, the record penalty of 50 million was levied against them. In November of last year, the European Commission announced formal antitrust charges against the company, saying the retailer has used its position to compete against third-party businesses using its platform."