Privacy activist files EU complaints against Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube

A European privacy activist has filed complaints against a group of broadcast services, including Apple, Netflix and YouTube, alleging that they have withheld data collected about their users in violation of the new European Union privacy law.

Max Schrems, a leading privacy advocate led by the group None of Your Business (NOYB), filed 10 complaints Friday with the Austrian Data Protection Authority against eight companies for allegedly failing to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation. of the EU (GDPR).

According to the law, which was implemented in May of last year, users have the right to obtain the data collected in them on the websites, as well as information on what the data were used for and with which third parties were shared.

"Many services configure automated systems to respond to access requests, but often they do not even remotely provide the data to which each user is entitled," Schrems said in a statement. "In most cases, users only got the raw data, but, for example, there is no information on who this data was shared with. This leads to structural violations of user rights, since these systems are designed to retain relevant information. "

Also among those affected by the complaints were Amazon Prime and Spotify.

The GDPR requires companies to be more transparent about their data collection practices and give users more control over their own data. It gives users the right to learn about how they are tracked and to choose not to collect their information.

Theoretically, under the harsh compliance mechanisms of the GDPR, a company could receive fines of up to $ 23 million or 4 percent of a company's annual total revenues if data authorities in Europe discover that it has violated the new law.

Schrems has openly criticized the privacy practices of internet giants. The day that GDPR went into effect last year, NOYB filed complaints against Facebook and Google, accusing them of not allowing users to stop participating in the data collection.

Spotify responded to the complaint on Friday by rejecting the notion that it violated the regulations.

"Spotify takes the privacy of the data and our obligations to users extremely seriously," the company said in a statement. "We are committed to complying with all relevant national and international laws and regulations, including the GDPR, with which we believe we fully comply."

None of the other companies named in the latest complaints responded immediately when asked for a comment.

Updated at 1:07 p.m.

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