Europcar car rental was fined €54,000 for illegally collecting personal data.
The Hamburg, Germany Commissioner for data protection and freedom of information fined Europcar €54,000, after receiving a complaint about this issue. Investigations revealed that the company was tracking the location of a fleet of 1,300 cars without the customers’ consent, which is considered illegal in Germany under the Federal Privacy Act.
Europcar declared that the location data helped the company investigate thefts and compare the location of the car with the countries where the contract allowed the customers to drive. But the company failed to offer comprehensive data requested by the privacy authority.
The fine given by the Hamburg, Germany Commissioner for data protection and freedom of information is the smallest damage brought to the company since the negative story was made public in Germany this week, during the holiday season. This incident was another proof that the German law is severe when it comes to location privacy, therefore international companies have to adapt their location technology practices in order to comply with local laws.