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Monthly Brandtech Blend - June 2023

Yasmine Toussaint
Published on
What’s been happening in the brandtech world this month? Meta received a groundbreaking fine of €1.2 billion; Amazon resolves a privacy violation lawsuit regarding Alexa and Ring with the FTC and DOJ, agreeing to pay almost $30 million; Google takes a revolutionary step forward by integrating Generative AI into Search Ads; GDPR celebrates five years.

Meta receives historic €1.2Bn fine from EU regulators

Meta has received a record-breaking €1.2 billion fine from EU regulators due to Privacy violations. The tech giant has also been instructed to cease transferring European user data to the US within six months. The fine is a result of Meta's failure to comply with strict privacy regulations, including violating the GDPR by allowing data to flow without sufficient protection against US data surveillance practices. This significant ruling reflects the growing concerns regarding data privacy and marks a pivotal moment in the efforts to protect user information.This penalty sets a new record as the largest ever imposed on a Big Tech firm in the EU for privacy breaches. Meta now faces the challenge of reassessing its data handling practices and exploring alternative strategies to ensure adherence to regulations.The ruling underscores the intensified scrutiny and regulatory focus on how technology companies manage data.Privacy activists view this case as an opportunity to shape future data handling practices by emphasizing the importance of strict regulations and strong safeguards to protect user privacy. Meta has indicated its intention to challenge the ruling and fine, deeming them unwarranted and unnecessary.

Read more about it in The tech portal.

Amazon settles FTC-DOJ lawsuit over Alexa and Ring privacy violations for nearly $30 million

Amazon has found itself in hot water over privacy violations involving its products, Alexa and Ring. The tech giant has agreed to pay a staggering $25 million penalty to settle a lawsuit accusing it of breaching children's privacy rights through its popular voice assistant, Alexa. But that's not all – Amazon is also on the hook for an additional $5.8 million in a privacy scandal surrounding its Ring doorbell divisions. Employees and contractors were granted unrestricted access to sensitive customer video content, resulting in privacy violations.These cases shed light on the alarming threats faced by children's data privacy in the digital age. Amazon stands accused of deceptive practices, retaining sensitive data, and compromising user trust. This settlement serves as a wake-up call, underscoring the urgent need for robust privacy safeguards and proper consent in collecting personal information from minors.

Find out how Amazon's missteps have sparked a pivotal conversation about safeguarding personal information in our increasingly digital world in The tech portal, The Guardian and tech crunch.

Google's game-changing leap into Generative AI for Search Ads

Google introduces its new foray into Generative AI, marking a significant milestone in the field. With an eye on the global AI landscape, Google has emerged as a key player and aims to revolutionize the advertising industry using this technology.At the recent Google Marketing Live event, impressive advancements were showcased, enabling advertisers to create highly targeted and personalized campaigns that engage audiences.Google's efforts are reshaping the future of advertising by offering features such as real-time content adaptation, interactive ad experiences, and predictive ad targeting. By integrating generative AI, Google aims to streamline the creative process, reduce resource requirements, and take ad customization to unprecedented levels. This development has the potential to redefine advertising practices and unlock new possibilities in the industry.

Read more about it in The tech portal.

GDPR celebrates five years and shows no signs of slowing down

As the EU marks the fifth anniversary of the General Data Protection Regulation, it made a grand statement by imposing a staggering €1.2 billion fine on Meta. This milestone highlights the EU's influential role as a regulator of big tech in the Western world.Over the past five years, valuable insights have been gained that will significantly influence the future of data governance, especially in relation to challenges posed by AI and the increasing data requirements of businesses.Although the impact of GDPR has been gradual, recent substantial fines, including those imposed on Meta, underscore the authorities' strong commitment to enforcement. However, critics argue that assigning responsibility for holding tech companies accountable to national enforcers may have inherent shortcomings. Looking ahead, there is a growing consensus on the necessity for additional regulation in the tech industry, particularly in light of the rise of generative AI.

Read more about this topic in Bloomberg.

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