Web privacy activist files combined $8.8 billion complaints against Facebook and Google

New EU privacy rules require online services such as Facebook to get consent for how personal data is accessed and shared

Facebook and Google at top of GDPR complaints list

In a statement issued to BBC, 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".

One the first day of GDPR noyb.eu has therefore filed four complaints against Google (Android), Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram over "forced consent". It also demands that firms hand over any data they have on people when requested, and that the data be permanently deleted if the user chooses.

"We see no reason why United States companies, as they strive to comply with the new European policies, can not extend the GDPR standard to American consumers", said Katharina Kopp of the Center for Digital Democracy, one of 28 activist groups endorsing a letter in that vein to major U.S. and global companies.

The most notable blackouts were by news organizations tied to the American media company Tronc. "We continue to identify technical compliance solutions that will provide all readers with our award-winning journalism".

The decision illustrated that some companies would prefer to lose European customers than risk being hit with the stiff penalties allowed under the new law.

The Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune newspapers were among those inaccessible on the other side of the Atlantic following the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation ().

Many companies outside the European Union, which had not set up the required infrastructure to comply with the new regulations, temporarily stopped their services to Europe.

Andrea Jelinek, who heads both Austria's Data Protection Authority and a new European Data Protection Board set up under GDPR, appeared to express sympathy with Schrems' arguments at a news conference in Brussels.

New EU data protection rules are likely to radically change how websites use and share personal information and track users

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.

Why do US companies have to comply with those rules, too? The Belgian law significantly strengthens the regulator's investigatory powers and notably gives it the ability to impose fines and sanctions for violating the data protection law. Confidentiality group noyb.eu controlled by innovative Max Schrems said individuals were not being offered a "free choice".

The problem with all these sites, he said, is with the pop ups that have been appearing on them in recent weeks, asking users to agree to new terms of use.

Echoing the concern over data privacy, Vĕra Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality said, "Personal data is the gold of the 21st century". They knew these technology giants will be caught under one or the other data breach policies.

Activists are already planning to use the right to access their data to turn the tables on internet platforms whose model relies on processing people's personal information.

"But with GDPR, they might no longer have a choice", Vice said.

Any organization that processes personal data of European Union individuals is within the scope of the law, regardless of whether or not the organization has a physical presence in an European Union country. If they, indeed, have not yet complied after all these years, why hasn't the government cracked down on them?

Facebook, which has recently been vilified for its flagrant sharing of users' data, has created something called a "Privacy Shortcut".


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