Google And Facebook Facing $8.8 Billion Lawsuits Under GDPR rules

Privacy advocates have hailed the new law as a model for personal data protection in the Internet era

Facebook and Google at top of GDPR complaints list

The tech giants were hit with multiple lawsuits that were filed by Austrian privacy advocate Max Schrems.

But it has also been blamed for a flood of emails and messages in consumers' inboxes in recent weeks as anxious businesses rush to update their privacy policies and request the explicit consent of users.

Four EU citizens filed the complaints with local regulators in Belgium, Austria, Germany and France.

ET took a look at few websites that have updated their policy and the template of the policy disclosures are similar: What kind of information is collected, explicit mention of what the data is used for, who they share it with, and an email ID to which users can write to delete their data.

In its own statement, Google said: "We build privacy and security into our products from the very earliest stages and are committed to complying with the EU General Data Protection Regulation".

Critics say the new rules are overly burdensome, especially for small businesses, while advertisers and publishers worry it will make it harder for them to find customers. And companies like Microsoft and Apple have extended GDPR benefits to all customers worldwide, making the impact truly global with new features like downloading and exporting data, or exercising a "right to be forgotten".

The organization suggests that forcing users to accept data collection measures in exchange for the possibility of using the service contravenes the new rules imposed by GDPR.

"It's a gradual and not a revolutionary kind of thing ..."

"They still hold data on European Union citizens and therefore they are required to comply and respond to subject access requests like everyone else".

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That means companies have had to put in place processes for dealing with such requests and educating their workforce because any non-compliance could lead to stiff sanctions.

If found violating any EU GDPR law, the companies will face hefty penalties.

The report stated GDPR implementation has prompted the Indian companies to fortify their databases, leading to an upswing in the search for cyber security and privacy professionals. That is a clear violation of the GDPR's guidelines around particularised consent. The deadline to become GDPR compliant ended at 11:59 last night and less than half a day into the first day, news is spilling out like lava.

The more sceptical among you may have thought it an odd coincidence that so numerous world's e-commerce and digital marketing companies had suddenly become so concerned about the integrity of consumers' data.

"For example, the outsourcing services will be covered under GDPR".

"Denying service to European Union citizens does not absolve them of their responsibilities", says Julian Saunders, chief executive officer of Port, a United Kingdom startup selling software that helps clients control who gets access to data and creates audit trails to monitor privacy.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) took effect on May 25.

"It's not obvious that you can necessarily migrate the data from your system to somebody else's system", Tanguy Van Overstraeten, of Linklaters, said.

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