Google And Facebook Sued For US$ 8.8 Billion For Coercing Users Into Sharing Their Personal Data
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For context, GDPR or the General Data Protection Regulation is a rule passed by the European Union in 2016, resetting guidelines and rules for how companies manage and share a user’s personal data. While the rule applies to EU nations only, the internet’s global nature means that companies had to reset their policies in general. Hence, everyone received notifications about the privacy policies.
It is worth noting that Google and Facebook have rolled out the new policies since GDPR was enforced. Schrems believes, however, that those policies don’t go far enough. He has singled out the way Google and Facebook obtain consent for the privacy policies, asking users to check a box in order to access services. This is a very common practice of almost every internet service, but, the lawsuit argues that this method forces users into an all-or-nothing choice. That is a clear violation of the GDPR’s guidelines around particularised consent.
Both Google and Facebook have argued that the measures taken comply with the GDPR guidelines. In a statement, Google said:
We build privacy and security into our products from the very earliest stages, and are committed to complying with the EU GDPR.
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Facebook has said that, “We have prepared for the past 18 months to ensure we meet the requirements of the GDPR.” This is not the first lawsuit Google is facing for violating the privacy of users. The company was recently sued for GBP 3.2 billion for secretly collecting browsing data of iPhone users in 2011 and 2012.