Amazon Reportedly Faces $425 Million Privacy Fine In Europe

Amazon is facing a possible fine of nearly half a billion dollars for allegedly violating Europe's broad privacy laws, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.

Data regulators in Luxembourg reportedly have drafted a proposal to fine Amazon around $425 million over its collection and use of consumers' data, according to the Journal.

It's not yet clear why the Luxembourg authorities believe Amazon has violated Europe's General Data Protection Regulation, but the company has been the subject of at least one other privacy action in Europe.

In December, regulators in France fined Amazon $43 million over its use of cookies for ad-targeting purposes. The authorities in that country said Amazon violated France's privacy law by setting non-essential cookies without obtaining users' prior consent.



The French authorities said Amazon didn't adequately explain cookies, or that users could refuse to accept them.

Separately, two years ago the Austrian privacy group noyb alleged that Amazon Prime and seven other companies violate EU privacy law by failing to provide consumers with access to their data.

The proposed $425 million fine for Amazon is still only tentative, and won't be finalized without the agreement of other EU countries, according to the Journal.

Other U.S. companies, including Google and Facebook, have also been hit with privacy related fines in Europe.

Authorities in France fined Google $121 million last year over its use of cookies. Separately, in 2019, the French regulator fined Google $57 million for allegedly failing to obtain people's unambiguous consent before using their data in order to personalize ads. 

Four years ago, authorities in Europe fined Facebook $122 million for allegedly misleading officials about its ability to automatically combine data about its users with those of the messaging service WhatsApp.

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