The EU Fined Tech Companies Over 1 Billion Euros in 2021

Various regions of the world have started to take the privacy of their users a great deal more seriously, and suffice it to say that the EU is the leader in this trend with all things having been considered and taken into account. One thing that the EU did to this end was implement General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, and violating these regulations might result in companies having to pay a fine.

Data that was collected by the folks over at Atlas VPN (based on GDPR Enforcement Tracker) has now revealed that amount that companies violating this regulation had to pay. There were about 421 fines that were levied to various companies, and the total payout amounted to over 1 billion Euros. WhatsApp and Amazon are the two companies that were fined most heavily due to their privacy violations, although other companies were forced to pay various levels of penalties as well all in all.

With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that there has been a dramatic increase in the total fines levied through this bill. In 2018, when the regulation was first laid out and implemented, only around 436,000 Euros worth of fines were levied. In 2019, this increased to 72 million, and an almost 100 million Euro increase in 2020 brought the total to 171 million Euros across various penalized enterprises.

2021 was a relatively slow year for fines initially, with the 50 million Euros of fines in the first two quarters indicating a bit of a slowdown. However, the over 740 million Euros that Amazon paid and the around 236 million paid by WhatsApp resulted in a massive increase, although it should be noted that these amounts are peanuts compared to the money that these corporations tend to bring which might make this regulation a lot less effective than people might assume.
Read next: New Report Reveals Desire for Transparency Among AI Consumers
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