Business

GDPR Day One: Google, Facebook Hit With $9 Billion In Lawsuits

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| May 26 , 2018 , 12:11 IST

Internet giants Google and Facebook have been hit with an avalanche of lawsuits on day one of the GDPR enforcement. These lawsuits filed by Austrian privacy advocate Max Schrems and his organisation 'NOYB – European Center for Digital Rights' allege that Google, Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp coerced users into sharing personal data with their ‘take it or leave it approach’.

In a statement posted on their website late Friday, NOYB said, "The new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which came into force today at midnight is supposed to give users a free choice, whether they agree to data usage or not. The opposite feeling spread on the screens of many users: Tons of “consent boxes” popped up online or in applications, often combined with a threat, that the service cannot longer be used if users do not consent. One the first day of GDPR noyb.eu has therefore filed four complaints against Google (Android), Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram over “forced consent”.

NOYB is asking regulators in France, Belgium, Germany and Austria to fine the companies up to the maximum four percent of their annual revenue that the GDPR legislation allows. The company says this will be a crucial test of the law if they want to show teeth.

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