Amazon starts appeal against ‘flawed’ €746m GDPR fine

amazon 2Online retail giant Amazon has launched an appeal against its €746m (£636m) GDPR fine – the second highest penalty since the regulation was implemented in 2018 – arguing that the decision is “flawed for many reasons”.

The fine, issued by Luxembourg’s National Commission for Data Protection, followed a complaint filed by 10,000 people against Amazon in May 2018, through a French privacy rights group La Quadrature du Net.

Even now, specifics of the case have not been publicly disclosed or commented on by the regulator since local laws bind the Luxembourg authority to professional secrecy until an appeal process is completed.

However, it is known that the investigation covered how Amazon processes personal data of its customers and found infringements regarding the company’s advertising targeting system that were carried out without proper consent.

Amazon lawyer Thomas Berger reportedly told the appeal, which is being heard by a court in Luxembourg, that the alleged infringements had not been specified by the regulator and that the company had not been asked to make changes, adding that “the decision is flawed for many reasons”.

An Amazon spokesman said the firm had tried to work constructively on interpreting the untested GDPR, but instead the Luxembourg regulator had imposed an unprecedented fine based on what Amazon said was a “subjective” interpretation of the law that had not been previously published.

A decision on the appeal is expected in the next few months.

Meta, the company behind Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram, has the dubious honour of holding the record for the largest fine under GDPR, having been whacked with a €1.2bn (£1bn) penalty in May 2023. It is also appealing that decision.

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