International

Complaint filed against Google, Facebook under new GDPR laws

A group that campaigns for data protection rights in Europe has filed legal complaints against Google, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp over the way they obtain users’ consent under new EU privacy rules.

The group NOYB.EU. which stands for “none of your business” claimed its action could force the U.S. internet giants to pay up to 7 billion euros ($8.2 billion).

In a statement on Friday, the group argued that the companies are making users’ consent to their new terms of service a requirement if they want to continue using the service. Those who object have to delete their account.

Max Schrems, a veteran of legal fights against Facebook and chair of the privacy group, said this amounts to “forced consent,” prohibited by the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation.

Starting Friday, companies that collect or process the personal information of EU residents must comply with new rules that protect the privacy of people’s data.

While the legislation has been applauded for tackling the thorny question of personal data privacy, the rollout is also causing confusion. Companies are trying to understand what level of protection different data needs, whether this could force them to change the way they do business and innovate, and how to manage the EU’s 28 national data regulators, who enforce the law.

The implementation of GDPR has also made data protection an issue in contract negotiations as firms argue about how to divvy up responsibility for any data breach.

“Deals are being held up by data protection,” said Phil Lee, a partner in privacy security and information at Fieldfisher, a law firm with offices in 18 EU cities. “If something goes wrong, what happens?”

EU countries themselves aren’t quite ready for the new rules. Less than half of the 28 member states have adopted national laws to implement GDPR, though the laggards are expected to do so in the next few weeks, according to WilmerHale, an international law firm.

As with most EU-wide regulations, enforcement of the new data protection rules falls to national authorities.


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Printable version | Jan 16, 2022 4:39:37 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/complaint-filed-against-google-facebook-under-new-gdpr-laws/article23991527.ece

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