Web store giant Amazon makes more money from customers’ personal data than from selling products, according to Stichting Data Bescherming Nederland. The claims foundation is demanding compensation on behalf of all Dutch users, because the tech company is allegedly violating their privacy on a large scale.
In addition to damages, the claim foundation demands that Amazon stop collecting and processing personal data of Dutch citizens on a large scale. The company is accused of collecting that data not only on its own website, but also on other sites using non-compliant cookie consent management.
According to the claim foundation, Amazon places tracking cookies without permission. These allow the shopping giant to follow the comings and goings of its customers on hundreds of frequently used websites.
Stichting Data Bescherming Nederland says those cookies are placed even if the user has not given permission. In this way, Amazon collects an unprecedented amount of personal data from five million Dutch customers.
The profiles are used by the company to create detailed profiles of customers. Amazon then uses that information to sell online ads to advertisers.
Amazon walks on both sides
Unlike Google and Facebook parent company Meta, Amazon eats both sides of the fence, according to the foundation. With the search giant and the social media company, people use a free product and pay with their data. But Amazon earns both from selling products and services and from users’ data.
The foundation has sent a so-called claim letter to Amazon. In it, the company is invited to come and talk about a reasonable solution. If the talks come to nothing, Stichting Data Bescherming Nederland will start a class action lawsuit.
Amazon’s first response: “We follow all legal requirements in the countries and regions where we operate. We are currently reviewing the content of the claim letter.”