Google and Facebook face $9.3bn in fines for violating GDPR laws

Data Protection Rules

Facebook and Google at top of GDPR complaints list

Still others asked users to actively opt in and agree to continue receiving marketing email alerts and newsletters, again in an effort to be compliant with the new law.

The Austrian lawyer filed the lawsuit on behalf of unnamed individuals who were affected by products such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, and Google's Android operating system.

For some of America's biggest newspapers and online services, it's easier to block half a billion people from accessing your product than comply with Europe's new General Data Protection Regulation. The firms are blamed of imposing operators to consent to direct publicity to use the facilities. Such is the case for Pinterest's news-clipping service, who announced that it will bar European Union citizens from using the platform until further notice.

Websites that do not disclose what they do with their European Union users' data and how they collect it can be fined up to $20 million euros or 4% of a company's global annual revenue. More widely-accessed USA media outlets - including the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times and the Baltimore Sun - similarly blocked some of their European users starting Friday. One Twitter user claimed they received a GDPR compliance email, but with all recipients mistakenly CCed, exposing all of their email addresses and potentially violating GDPR requirements in the process. "Because of this, the GDPR essentially sets a new global standard for data protection".

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All the cool services are getting data dumps - that little link you click somewhere in a settings menu that triggers the service to send you all the data it collects from you (and everything you've used it to do, theoretically).

For a full copy of the General Data Protection Regulation, a PDF copy can be viewed and downloaded here.

Europe's sweeping data protection law came into force on Friday.

Privacy campaign group Noyb issued lawsuits yesterday against Google, Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram over "forced consent".

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Facebook, which has recently been vilified for its flagrant sharing of users' data, has created something called a "Privacy Shortcut". The regulation is so strict that some companies based in the United States have made a decision to stop trading in the European Union at least temporarily rather than risk falling foul of the new law.

"When it comes to personal data today, people are naked in an aquarium", said EU Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova. "But with GDPR, they might no longer have a choice", Vice said.

The law establishes the key principle that individuals must explicitly grant permission for their data to be used, and give consumers a right to know who is accessing their information and what it will be used for. If they, indeed, have not yet complied after all these years, why hasn't the government cracked down on them?

Yesterday, in a note released on European Commission website, Andrus Ansip, Vice-President for the Digital Single Market, stated: "Our new data protection rules were agreed for a reason: Two thirds of Europeans are concerned about the way their data was being handled, feeling they have no control over information they give online". On Thursday, Google said it would potentially change some of its new GDPR-inspired policies if European authorities revise their instructions about what constitutes compliance, according to meeting documents seen by Reuters.

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