While companies were rushing to meet deadline of May 25th to be General Data Protection Regulatory (GDPR) compliant, giants like Google and facebook have already been hit with lawsuits. According to reports, Facebook and Google were accused of forcing users to share their personal data. The lawsuits were filed by Max Schrems, Austrian privacy activist. Schrems seeks a collective fine of USD 8.8 billion from Facebook and Google if they are found guilty.
According to the EU GDPR, companies need a clear consent from the users for collecting personal data. The company is also required to give a justification for the collection of the same.
Most companies across the world have been revising their policies to make it compliant to the GDPR regulations. Even Google and Facebook revised their policies and products to comply with the new norms. However, Schrems believes that the problems lies in the way companies obtained consent. The users were asked to tick a box to access their services. It leaves the users with no choice but to accept the condition so that they can use the services, hence against the GDPR norms.
Schrems told Financial Times that the existing consent systems were clearly noncompliant. “They totally know that it’s going to be a violation,” he said. “They don’t even try to hide it.”
Schrems has also put separate cases on Instagram, WhatsApp and Android operating system. However Google and Facebook in their individual statements said they are compliant with the new regulations.
Meanwhile, French digital rights group La Quadrature du Net has put cases against Apple, Amazon and LinekdIn to French privacy regulator CNIl. The grounds of the complaint are same and they are further gathering information to complain against 12 more companies. The GDPR also has a provision where non-profit organization can complain against the companies that do not follow the rules.