US tech giants like Facebook, Apple, and Twitter face EU’s inquiries after the platforms did not respect the new General Data Protection Regulation.
The first annual report after GDPR came into effect last year in May, the investigations from the Irish Data Protection Commission found 15 cases where multinational technology companies did not comply with the GDPR. The Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) is the EU lead regulator.
Among the 15 cases, Facebook is facing five inquiries, its WhatsApp platform two and the Facebook-owned Instagram one – totaling ten probes for violating the new GDPR.
Meanwhile, Apple and Twitter also face two inquiries each, and Microsoft’s LinkedIn faces one.
The DPC report notes that the decision and adjudication of the inquiries should be made later this year, adding the following:
“It’s our intention that the analysis and conclusions in the context of those inquiries will provide precedents for better implementation of the principles of the GDPR across key aspects of internet and ad tech services.”
DPC’s report adds that they must examine many areas of risk “in sectors beyond the free internet services but initial complaints and breaches have focused the DPC in this area and warrant attention in light of the hundreds of millions of users implicated.”
The DPC has received 2,864 complaints in just nine months last year since the GDPR was applied.
Large Numbers of Breaches, Transparency Issues, User Profiling and User Privacy
Facebook is now probed for breach of user data. Their messaging app WhatsApp is investigated for the way it shares information with Facebook and user privacy.
Twitter self-reported “large number of breaches,” according to ABC News, which mentions that the platform is also being investigated for how much of their own data can the users access.
Transparency issues are what Apple is being investigated for, and LinkedIn is investigated for targeting ads after profiling its users.
Last month, DPC warned Facebook about the integration of the three chat services from the apps Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram:
“While we understand that Facebook’s proposal to integrate the Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram platforms is at a very early conceptual stage of development, the Irish DPC has asked Facebook Ireland for an urgent briefing on what is being proposed.”
The Irish DPC also added that they will carefully scrutinize “Facebook’s plans as they develop, particularly insofar as they involve the sharing and merging of personal data between different Facebook companies.”