May 25, 2018

Google and Facebook accused of breaking GDPR laws

Complaints have been filed against Facebook, Google, Instagram and WhatsApp within hours of the new GDPR data protection law taking effect. The companies are accused of forcing users to consent to targeted advertising to use the services. This, the organisation suggests, falls foul of the new rules because forcing people to accept wide-ranging data collection in exchange for using a service is prohibited under GDPR. "The GDPR explicitly allows any data processing that is strictly necessary for the service - but using the data additionally for advertisement or to sell it on needs the users' free opt-in consent," said noyb. Privacy advocate Max Schrems said: "Many users do not know yet that this annoying way of pushing people to consent is actually forbidden under GDPR in most cases." Companies that fall foul of GDPR can be - in extreme cases - fined more than £17m. Facebook said in a statement that it had spent 18 months preparing to make sure it met the requirements of GDPR. Google and WhatsApp have not yet responded to the BBC's request for comment.

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