IF YOU'RE STRUGGLING with GDPR implementation, it looks like you're not alone. And given the size of the companies that have just failed Austrian privacy activist Max Schrems' test, the consequences for them could be far worse than for you.
GDPR regulations allow for fines of up to four per cent of global turnover, and given the list of companies that flunked the test includes Apple, Amazon and YouTube, that figure potentially enters into the billions.
Schrems and his privacy group 'None of Your Business' (NYOB) asked eight companies providing streaming content to reveal the personal data they held. Of those, two fell at the very first hurdle by not replying: SoundCloud and DAZN. The six others all sent something, but noyb argues that none of them provided enough information to suggest they were complying with the law.
"Many services set up automated systems to respond to access requests, but they often don't even remotely provide the data that every user has a right to," Schrems said in a statement. "In most cases, users only got the raw data, but, for example, no information about who this data was shared with. This leads to structural violations of users' rights, as these systems are built to withhold the relevant information."
As a result, eight complaints have been filed with the Austrian Data Protection Authority, and you can bet that the companies involved will be taking a lot more interest in this than they did in the original data requests.
As the complaint form shows (PDF) the maximum penalty for each company ranges from €20m (DAZN and SoundCloud) all the way up to €8.02bn (Apple Music). Add in Amazon Prime (€6.31bn), YouTube (€3.87bn), Netflix (€415bn) and Spotify (€163m) and you're looking at a potential cumulative fine of €18.8bn.
Given this subset only applies to streaming media platforms, the advice to ambitious legal firms seems to be pretty clear: there's gold in them there hills. µ
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