When Europe’s tough privacy rules came into force on May 25, 2018, policymakers and industry executives expected a series of dominoes would soon start to fall.

Global technology giants like Facebook would feel the heat of fines of up to 4 percent of their total yearly revenue. Companies like Google would think twice before pushing ahead with aggressive new ways of collecting people’s data. Smaller rivals would be given greater space to compete.

But a year later, none of those dominoes has yet fallen, according to interviews with senior policymakers, tech executives and privacy campaigners.

Big fines and sweeping enforcement actions have been largely absent, as under-resourced European regulators struggle to define their mission — and take time to build investigations that will probably end up in court.

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