FACEBOOK AND GOOGLE have both been clobbered with potentially expensive lawsuits on the first day of GDPR compliance.
In the latest instalment of our occasional series "It's funny because it's happening to them", the two giants wrestled with an angry punter and campaigning troll, who filed three suits totalling €3.9bn for Facebook and €3.7bn for Google. That's $8.8bn or roughly £6.7bn and, let's just emphasise this, that figure was accrued in a DAY.
The figure comes from multiple lawsuits by Austrian privacy battleaxe Max Schrems, who claims that the measures put in place to comply with GDPR (both companies have attempted to comply) are simply not good enough.
Schrems claims that both Google and Facebook are using an "all or nothing" approach to privacy, rather than letting users decide exactly what needs to be sold on a tick-box by tick-box basis.
Schrems claims that this is not only a violation but a deliberate one, believing that the companies appetite for personal data is more important than the fines set by the EU.
The major issue is that nobody really understands the law, or how it should be enforced. It certainly seems like when the dust settled we'll find a lot of the GDPR opt-in emails were absolutely unnecessary and as a result, we could find that it takes some suits to set precedent before we get some consistency.
Google's suit is just one, but it's a big one - against the Android operating system. Facebook has one against itself, a second against its WhatsApp operation and a third against Instagram.
"We have prepared for the past 18 months to ensure we meet the requirements of the GDPR," said Facebook. Google said it was "committed to complying with the EU GDPR."
As we've been warning people all along - Friday was never the end of the talk on GDPR. Now, as we can see it's all just beginning. µ
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