A European Union regulator has proposed fining Amazon for alleged privacy violations within the bloc.
The process could lead to the biggest ever penalty in EU’s privacy law, City A.M. has reported.
A draft decision punishing Amazon for its privacy practices has been circulated by Luxembourg’s data protection commission, CNPD, with the bloc’s other 26 national data-protection bodies.
The move has been prompted by Amazon’s collection and use of personal data, which would allegedly be in violation of Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the Wall Street Journal has reported.
EU privacy regulators are now considering the draft document, which needs to be agreed on before it is concluded under GDPR.
The proceedings could take a few months and result in a different fine to the one currently proposed.
As the EU is making progress on potentially penalising Amazon, the UK competition watchdog is trying to understand what Amazon does with the data it collects on its website.
It is also analysing how the international online retailer decides which merchants pop up in its “buy box”.
The website’s feature is the white panel on the right side of a product, where buyers can add the item to their shopping basket.
Ongoing investigations may reveal if Amazon unfairly favours sellers who use the company’s delivery services, when deciding who can access the buy box and its Prime customers, according to the Financial Times.
The UK’s proceedings are reportedly thought to be looking into similar issues to the ones considered in ongoing investigations in Brussels.
What does Amazon say?
An Amazon spokesperson said the company will keep “supporting the tens of thousands of UK small and medium-sized enterprises” that account for more than half of everything they sell in their online store.
The spokesperson was however unable to comment on potential investigations.
Amazon said UK selling partners have sold over 600 million products through their website.
Earlier this year, the company announced plans to hire 10,000 people on a permanent basis.
Its current UK workforce stands at 45,000.
The Competition and Markets Authority, UK’s competition regulator, said all of its existing cases are available online and it could not speculate on others.
The CMA does not currently have any official case into Amazon on its website.
Last week, experts have expressed worries that Amazon might get a way with not paying a lot more tax than it currently is.
Finance ministers from the G7 group of rich countries, including the UK, have agreed on making big corporations pay more tax, but Amazon may escape the measures, The Guardian has reported.
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