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Vinted fined 2.3 million euros for breaching European AVG privacy law and will appeal

By Sylvana Lijbaart


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The Vinted app. Credits: image courtesy of Vinted

Vinted is violating several aspects of the European AVG privacy law, the State Data Protection Inspectorate ruled. An investigation was launched into the online marketplace after the regulator received complaints from several European countries.

The Dutch Personal Data Authority regularly receives complaints about the platform, Dutch news website Nu.nl reported.

Besides the Netherlands, the SDPI also received complaints from Germany, France, Poland and Spain. The Lithuanian regulator therefore launched an investigation into Vinted.

That investigation shows that Vinted does not sufficiently comply with users' right to be forgotten. Vinted members are asked for specific reasons if they want to delete their personal data.

Vinted then rejects the request in users who do not give a reason. It should not. In addition, the SDPI finds that the clothing platform is not transparent enough about what personal data it uses.

Vinted also engages in 'showbanning', according to SDPI. In this, Vinted members can be excluded from the platform without being aware of it. This is applied when rules of conduct are violated. Users can then still put items for sale, but other users cannot see the ad. SDPI believes this method of showbanning is illegal.

These violations cost Vinted 2.3 million euros (1.9 million pounds). Commenting on the ruling, Vinted shared a statement with FashionUnited that said: "We want to reassure our members that the cases referred to by the Lithuanian Data Protection Authority (VDAI) are in no way related to the security of their accounts or imply misuse or violation of their personal data."

The statement continued: "We take privacy and GDPR very seriously and have invested a lot in compliance and protection of our members, and we have cooperated with VDAI throughout this process."

"However, we have found no legal basis for this decision and believe it sets a new precedent beyond the current wording of the law and industry best practices," the company said. "We fundamentally disagree with this fine and will continue to appeal, as we have done throughout this process."

"Regarding the VDAI's decision on temporary blocking processes (so-called 'shadowbanning') that we used in the past to keep our platform and members safe, we would like to reiterate that we no longer use these processes."

"We regularly review such measures and adjust them to align with technological advances and changing legal standards," the statement concluded.

This article was originally published on FashionUnited.NL. Translation and edit from Dutch into English by Veerle Versteeg.