Largest GDPR Fines to Date Will Impact Online Platforms, Businesses that Use Them

The GDPR fines hitting major corporations are serving as warnings to some of the biggest global companies.

The two big stories today involve record penalties for what European regulators have determined negligence in the handling of data.

The first is the infamous Marriott breach which affected some 500 million customers at the end of 2018. At the time, the effects of the breach were immediate. The company’s stock fell more than 5.5 percent and several lawsuits were filed in the days after reports of the breach. It was only a matter of time until the day of reckoning with GDPR administrators would come. The British Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) that is in charge of implementing GDPR in the U.K. proposed a £99.2 million fine (USD $124,376,960.) for Marriott. The ICO reported that approximately 30 million of the hacked guest records related to residents of countries in the European Economic Area. Seven million related to U.K. residents.

The second instance occurred only a few days earlier when the ICO slapped a £183 million fine (USD $229,390,500.) on British Airways for a major breach last year. The ICO said that “poor security arrangements” at the company lead to the breach of credit card information, names, addresses, travel booking details, and logins for around 500,000 customers.

If executed, these will be the largest GDPR fines to date. The fine that held that record until now, one issued to Google earlier this year, was almost half of even the smaller Marriott fine. Experts are pointing out that these penalties are causing major concern in the top offices of the likes of Facebook and Google, companies whose entire service relies heavily on untold volumes of personal data. The clamping down of regulators will almost certainly have an effect on the way these and other similar firms govern their services.

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
Samuel Siskind

Samuel Siskind studied intelligence research at the American Military University in West Virginia. He served as a squad commander in the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) Corp of Combat Engineers, in the Corps' ground battalions and later in its Intelligence Wing at regional and divisional stations. For the past five years, Samuel has worked as a consultant and researcher on physical and information security issues for private and governmental institutions, in the US, Africa, India, and Israel. He currently lives in Jerusalem.

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