Amazon challenges record fine of $ 865 million for EU data protection

Amazon.com Inc. has appealed a record fine of 746 million euros ($ 865 million) for allegedly violating strict data protection rules in the European Union.

The appeal was filed Friday before the Administrative Court of Luxembourg, according to Luxembourg court spokesman Henri Eippers.

The challenge comes after the CNPD, Luxembourg’s data protection regulator, where Amazon has its base in the EU, fined the US tech giant in July.

The regulator ruled that Amazon violated the block’s General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, by processing users’ personal data. The decision was sparked by a 2018 complaint from French privacy group La Quadrature du Net.

The world’s largest online retailer has drawn attention in recent years to the vast treasure trove of data it has amassed on a range of customers and partners, including independent merchants who sell in its retail market, the users of its digital assistant Alexa and buyers whose browsing and purchase history informs what Amazon is showing them on its website.

Amazon declined to comment on the call, but referred to a previous statement in July that “there has been no data breach and no customer data has been exposed to a third party.”

Amazon had previously said it “strongly” disagreed with the Luxembourg authority’s findings.

The company says it collects data to improve the customer experience and sets guidelines for what employees can do with it. Some lawmakers and regulators have expressed concerns that the company has used what it knows to give itself an unfair advantage in the market.

The powers of EU data protection regulators have grown significantly since the bloc’s GDPR rules came into effect in May 2018. The law allows supervisors to impose fines of up to 4% of global sales annuals of a company.

The privacy investigation adds to the intense antitrust scrutiny of Amazon’s activities in Europe. Amazon is asked by the EU about its use of seller data on its platform and whether it unfairly promotes its own products. Germany has several Amazon sales surveys. The UK is also looking at issues similar to the EU.

(Updates with Amazon’s response to the sixth paragraph)

More stories like this are available at bloomberg.com

© 2021 Bloomberg LP

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