Google to appeal €50m French data consent fine

Google on Wednesday said it would appeal a record 50-million-euro fine imposed by France’s data regulator for failing to meet the EU’s strict new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

“We’ve worked hard to create a GDPR consent process for personalised ads that is as transparent and straightforward as possible, based on regulatory guidance and user experience testing,” the company said in a statement.

“We’re also concerned about the impact of this ruling on publishers, original content creators and tech companies in Europe and beyond,” it added.

“For all these reasons, we’ve now decided to appeal.”

France’s CNIL data watchdog announced the fine Monday, the first in Europe over alleged failings over the tougher data-consent policies.

The agency said Google made it too difficult for users to understand and manage preferences on how their personal information is used, particularly with regard to targeted advertising.

Its ruling followed complaints lodged by two advocacy groups last May, shortly after the landmark directive came into effect.

Even companies not based in Europe must follow the tough new rules if they want their sites and services to be available to European users.

The CNIL found that despite changes implemented by Google since last year, it was still failing to respect the spirit of the new rules.

It said the record 50-million-euro fine reflected the seriousness of the failings as well as Google’s dominant market position in France via Android.

“Each day thousands of French users create a Google account on their smartphones,” the CNIL said.

“As a result, the company has a special responsibility when it comes to respecting their obligations in this domain.”


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