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Privacy advocate Schrems foresees lax enforcement of GDPR

Neil Hodge | November 28, 2018

A leading privacy campaigner who is behind the first European class-action complaints against tech giants Facebook and Google has criticised the penalties that can be meted out under the EU’s new data regulation and has slammed Europe’s historically poor record of enforcement over data privacy issues.

Max Schrems, founder of NOYB (“None of Your Business”)—European Centre for Digital Rights, believes that the level of fines available to national data protection authorities under the EU’s newly enacted General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) are so high that they will simply force companies to contest the complaint and any penalty rather than accept any wrongdoing, thereby stalling judgments.

Under GDPR, national data regulators can issue fines of up to €20 million (U.S. $23 million), or up to 4 percent of annual global revenues—whichever is greater. Yet Schrems is unsure whether such strong fines are an appropriate deterrent and believes that “€100,000 [(U.S. $114,...

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