Editorial

GDPR fines surge despite strict regulations

The number of GDPR violations increased by 113% over 12 months, with Google accounting for the most significant share of the €293.96 million in penalties

Posted 21 July 2021 by Christine Horton


The number of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) violations has increased by 113.5 percent over the last 12 months. Data acquired by Finbold the number of fines was 332 in 2020, rising to 709 in 2021.

Over the same period, EU regulators’ penalties for the violations surged 124.92 percent. 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 18, 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.”

The report adds: “The fines and violations continue to grow when European regulators are increasingly showing their willingness to use their enforcement powers. At the same time, the regulators are adopting strict interpretations of GDPR laws leading to possible heated legal battles that might span over the years.”