Amazon Asks to Halt Daily Penalty Threat Over Data Rule Breach
(Bloomberg) -- The European regulator that slapped Amazon.com Inc. with a record 746 million-euro ($844 million) privacy fine told the retail giant to work out for itself how to avoid another round of penalties.
Amazon faces a daily 746,000 euro fine if it fails to meet a Jan. 15 deadline to make a number of changes to its data processes, a judge in the company’s regional hub of Luxembourg was told Friday.
At a hearing, the company’s lawyer, Thomas Berger, called the Luxembourg privacy authority’s ultimatum “unrealistic,” because it’s not clear what changes are required. “We have no guidance about what we need to do, so how do we do it?”
Vincent Wellens, a lawyer for the Luxembourg agency hit back, saying it’s “not a helpdesk for Amazon to tell them what to do” and “the decision,” which hasn’t been made public, “is very clear.”
Amazon is appealing July’s decision that accused the online retailer of processing personal data in violation of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR. The fine, which is suspended pending appeal, was the highest so far since GDPR took effect and watchdogs gained powers to levy fines of as much as 4% of a company’s annual global sales.
The fine came as Ireland, another EU nation that hosts numerous tech firms, has faced criticism for dragging its feet in probes. The Luxembourg case was triggered by a 2018 complaint from French privacy rights group La Quadrature du Net.
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