The Swedish Data Inspectorate, Datainspektionen, are looking into Klarna’s handling of personal data. If it is found that Klarna has failed to adhere to General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), they risk being subject to a fine to the value of SEK 200 million or more.
Swedish national supervisory authorities are known for making an example out of businesses that do not respect laws and regulations, and are very thorough in their inspections. A matter such as this would send a shiver down the spine of most CEOs, however Klarna has publicly shared that they welcome the inspection.
Klarna’s recent upturn
Klarna is a Swedish payment solutions company that in the summer of 2017 was granted full banking licence by the Swedish financial supervisory, Finansinspektionen.
Sebastian Siemiatkowski, CEO of Klarna, at the time called it “another exciting milestone on the Klarna journey to become the world’s favourite way to buy but also [a milestone] for the European banking sector. We are now one of Europe’s largest banks with 60 million customers, 70 000 merchants and working seamlessly across borders.”
With its sizeable customer base and highly sensitive data and personal information, it is essential that Klarna passes the GDPR inspection. A fine would undoubtedly hurt the company, but proof of data-mishandling could potentially break it.
Klarna’s Senior Lawyer Anna Mirsch Peiris, recognises this. She told DI Digital: ”The handling of personal information is important, and it is also important that our customers have confidence in how it happens”.
The maximum fine for GDPR violations is set to EUR 20 million or 4 percent of a company's annual turnover, whichever is greater. For less serious violations, it comes in at EUR 10 million or 2 percent of turnover.
If Klarna is fined to the value of 4 percent turnover, they will have to pay SEK 218 million based off of 2018's revenue.
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