Dutch data privacy case: tech giant as guinea pig in EU’s class-action reforms

A Dutch consumer rights organisation filed a lawsuit against tech giant Amazon late last year, alleging that the company unlawfully tracks users’ online activity without their consent. This allegation is remarkably comparable to one that Amazon was found to have violated the GDPR in 2021.

The latest legal dispute involving Amazon in the Netherlands has the potential to become a forum where public policy concerns are contested, with implications that transcend the specific case at hand. Stichting Data Bescherming Nederland (SDBN; the Netherlands Data Protection Foundation) filed a class-action lawsuit against Amazon on the grounds of privacy law infringement, subsequent to the EU’s enactment of legislation that facilitated the ability of consumer organisations to initiate legal proceedings against companies. Although class-action lawsuits have traditionally been a customary occurrence in U.S. courts, the implementation of this novel legislation might cause a transformation in the way consumers pursue redress.

The class action is among the initial significant cases after the EU’s facilitation of class-action claim filing by consumers. However, it is yet to be seen whether the new law will benefit aggrieved consumers or burden the court system excessively, according to author Chelsea Burkhart.

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