Google And Facebook Fined Heavily On The First Day Of EU’s GDPR Law

European Union’s GDPR Law finally came into effect on 25th May 2018. The EU’s GDPR Law focuses primarily on user’s privacy and data. With the new EU Law coming into effect, all the companies have updated their privacy and terms of service. The new law assures the users of their data and privacy. All the companies bounded by the law has to let the users know what data are being collected from them. Further, they have to mention about how these data are used. If any company failing to do so, they can be fined for $17m or above.

But, on the very first day after the law came into effect, complaints were filed against Google, Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram. An Austrian Lawyer filed the lawsuit against Google and Facebook on behalf of the unnamed people who were affected by their products. Facebook-owned WhatsApp and Instagram along with Google’s Android OS were accused of violating the law. The lawsuit claims were roughly determined to be $8.8 billion.

What’s The Issue?

Privacy group, noyb.eu said that people were not given a free choice. They were forced to accept the terms and conditions placed by some companies. If they opted not to, they were denied the service to the products. They said that the four companies have breached the EU’s GDPR Law as they follow a – Take it or Leave it approach. The users were forced to share their data for targeted advertisements or else their accounts were taken down. This violated the GDPR Law as no company can force the users to share their data in exchange for the service provided by them. However, the law allows the companies to collect data which are absolutely necessary. “Whichever data is necessary is legal without consent but the other data should have a free yes or no option”.

Huge Fines Imposed:

According to the Schrems, “These companies are violating the law by forcing their users to share the data for availing their services. In the end, users either have to agree to share their data or delete their account. There’s no free choice to the users and hence it violates the GDPR Law”.

Analysts and regulators had already expected the complaints to be filed soon after the law came into effect. Four EU Citizens filed the complaint against the companies on the first day of the law coming into effect. Some of the companies have temporarily shut their services in Europe to prevent failure in the new law. Whereas, Twitter has given full control to the users to opt out of the targeted advertisements.

In response to the lawsuits filed against them, Google and Facebook came out with their statements. Facebook said that “We have been preparing for nearly 18 months to abide by the GDPR Law and we don’t think we have violated it”. Google said in an interview with BBC that “We have built privacy and security in our products from the beginning and are committed to abiding by the new EU General Data Protection Regulation Law”.

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