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Privacy: Monsanto has to pay a fine for lists of critics

2021-07-28T12:59:05.982Z

In order to be able to act more efficiently against its opponents, Monsanto had secret lists compiled by critical activists and journalists. This breach of data protection now has costly consequences.



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Monsanto factory: "educate" critics

Photo: JOHN THYS / AFP

The French data protection authority Cnil has fined the Bayer subsidiary Monsanto € 400,000 for keeping lists of public figures, journalists and activists internally in order to influence public opinion.

The authorities announced on Wednesday that those affected were not informed.

They only found out about it from the media.

In France, it became known in early May 2019 that the law firm Fleishman Hillard, on behalf of Monsanto, had lists of critics from several European countries at the end of 2016 and 2017.

According to media reports, Monsanto wanted to "educate" its critics and even "monitor" particularly stubborn opponents.

Bayer apologized and commissioned an investigation.

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Bayer confirmed the result of this investigation on Wednesday.

The data protection authority has shown "no undue influence on legislative processes, illegal monitoring of stakeholders or any other illegal lobbying activities."

It was only criticized that the listed people were not notified.

Bayer stands for "open dialogue, respect for privacy and transparency," the company explained.

Data protection violations would not be tolerated.

Bayer bought the US company Monsanto in 2018.

Monsanto produces, among other things, weedkillers containing glyphosate, which are highly controversial.

mik / AFP

Source: spiegel

All business articles on 2021-07-28

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