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Google hit with $57 MILLION fine by France’s data watchdog for murky use of personal information 

Google is hit with $57 MILLION fine by France’s data watchdog for its murky use of personal information

  • France’s data watchdog has fined Google 50m Euros for GDPR breaches
  • The new General Data Protection Regulation has been enforced for the first time
  • Google had not been transparent enough in how they hold personal information
  • The regulator said this was a particular concern regarding targeted advertising 

France’s data watchdog slapped a 50million euro ($57million) fine on search giant Google today, using the EU’s new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rules for the first time. 

Google was handed the record fine from French regulator CNIL for failing to provide transparent and easily accessible information on its data consent policies, a statement said.

They said Google had made it too difficult for users to understand and manage preferences on how their personal information is used, in particular with regards to targeted advertising.

The outside of the Google offices is seen in Manhattan in New York City, they have been hit with a 50m Euro  fine after CNIL used its GDPR powers

‘People expect high standards of transparency and control from us. We’re deeply committed to meeting those expectations and the consent requirements of the GDPR,’ a Google spokesperson said in a statement.

‘We’re studying the decision to determine our next steps.’

The ruling follows complaints lodged by two advocacy groups last May, shortly after the landmark GDPR directive came into effect.

One was filed on behalf of some 10,000 signatories by France’s Quadrature du Net group, while the other was by None Of Your Business, created by the Austrian privacy activist Max Schrems.

Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin, head of France's information technology watchdog CNIL presenting an annual report in 2017

Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin, head of France’s information technology watchdog CNIL presenting an annual report in 2017

Schrems had accused Google of securing ‘forced consent’ through the use of pop-up boxes online or on its apps which imply that its services will not be available unless people accept its conditions of use.

‘Also, the information provided is not sufficiently clear for the user to understand the legal basis for targeted advertising is consent, and not Google’s legitimate business interests,’ the CNIL said.

Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai is visiting Poland today to meet with Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki at a meeting to develop an innovative economy in central Europe.