Amazon owes the French government millions for GDPR violation

Just another invasion of privacy here, boss!

MajorLinux - Editor-in-chief
Photo by Joshua Brown on

While Europe does have its many faults with what it has given the world over the past several hundred years, at least one good thing has come from them. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Now, the GDPR doesn’t have much bearing on citizens in the US. It does stipulate what companies can and cannot due with European citizens’ data. And it looks like Amazon messed around and is about to find out.

On Tuesday, Amazon was fined €32 million (about $35 million) by France’s National Commision on Informatics and Liberty (CNIL). This is because Amazon’s surveillance is “excessively intrusive” and puts “continuous pressure” on Amazon warehouse employees. Naturally, Amazon doesn’t agree stating that the ruling was “factually incorrect.”

The CNIL stated that the systems used by Amazon along with the data collection and its retention practices were “excessive” and violated several GDPR articles. The agency also stated that Amazon’s downtime measurements violated the GDPR because it requires employees to justify every interruption down to the minute.

Amazon hit back with a lengthy statement. It justified its actions by saying it is an industry practice. Apparently, these systems are necessary to “make the daily lives of its employees easier.” It also keeps them safe and efficient.

Amazon employees stateside have also voiced concerns about similar practices. Cameras are pointed at employees all the time and monitored by managers and AI. Videos can be flagged and sent to a remote site to be reviewed.

So, let me get this straight. In order to increase productivity, you have employees having to constantly explain themselves for stopping. It’s giving dystopian Cool Hand Luke.

Maybe if Amazon removed all that equipment, they could save some money and not layoff so many people.

Finished writing this article here, boss!

Source: The Verge

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By MajorLinux Editor-in-chief
Marcus Summers is a Linux system administrator by trade. He has been working with Linux for nearly 15 years and has become a fan of open source ideals. He self identifies as a socialist and believes that the world's information should be free for all.
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