Number of GDPR fines surge by 113% over past year despite strict regulations

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Despite the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) being in its infancy stages, European regulators are increasingly focusing on implementing the law. As a result, the number of cases and fines has also surged.

Data acquired by Finbold indicates that the cumulative number of GDPR violations has steadily surged 113.5% over the last 12 months between July 2020 and July 2021. Last year, the number of fines was 332, rising to 709 in 2021.

Over the same period, EU regulators’ penalties for the violations spiked 124.92%. In July last year, the cumulative fines stood at €130.69 million, growing to €293.96 million.

Among the specific fines, big tech companies dominated, with Google accounting for the most significant share of fines at €60 million as of July 18th, 2021. French regulators imposed the fine. Google Ireland ranks second with €40 million in penalties while H&M Hennes & Mauritz Online Shop from Germany is third at €35.26 million.

Furthermore, French regulators also imposed more fines on Amazon Europe Core at €35 million to rank fourth. The fifth highest fine was TIM (telecommunications operator) from Italy at €27.8 million.

Improved ability by regulators to spot violations

The report highlights the implication of the GDPR fines.

According to the research report: “The rising fines over the last year highlight the improved ability by regulators to detect instances of personal data violation. Additionally, it also shows the power bestowed on consumers who are increasingly able to report situations of data violations. Furthermore, it also highlights the urge by regulators to protect consumers considering that the GDPR law is relatively new.”

With increasing fines, businesses and organizations are also focusing on best practices in handling customer data.

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