Photographer: Peter Foley
The new GDPR Legislation was enforced on Friday, and by now you’ve probably recieved a plethora of emails from every site you have an account on, but do you know what it actually means?
If the answer is no, from an individual standpoint, you’re probably alright. From a company standpoint though, it could have serious consequences… Bigger companies can get penalties up to €20 Million for violating the obligations for processing data subject rights. Of course, that includes us and we also had to make changes in our privacy policies and also sent out emails regarding the matter to the people who follow us.
Already, both Facebook and Google have been sued for violation. On the first day of enforcement. Both Facebook and Google are being sued over the same issue, coercing their users to share personal data. The total fine of the two companies would be around $8.8 billion dollars. The lawsuits were filed by an Australian long-time critic of the ways Facebook and Google store data named Max Schrems.
Both Facebook and Google defend themselves by saying that they rolled out new privacy policies to fully comply with the legislation, but Max states that both of the companies force their users to comply, since there are no other option than agreeing. That would violate GDPR’s provisions regarding particularized consent.
“They totally know that it’s going to be a violation,” Max says. “They don’t even try to hide it.”
Both Google and Facebook have disputed the charces, claiming that their recent adaptations should meet the new requirements. Google came out with an official statement saying “We build privacy and security into our products from the very earliest stages, and are committed to complying with the EU GDPR.”
Facebook had a similar defence, claiming that they prepared for 18 months for this legislation.
As of now, it’s unclear how the lawsuit will go. But one thing that is for certain, these lawsuits are just the beginning, for sure there will be more big lawsuits against the elite companies.