Google handed record £40m fine by French data watchdog

Google has been handed a record €50m (£44m) fine by France’s data watchdog for failing to provide users with transparent information on its data policies.

Regulator CNIL said the fine was levied on the tech giant as a result of its failure to provide transparent and easy to access information on its data consent policies and opt-ins and opt-outs for use of personal data.

Announcing the decision, CNIL stated: “This is the first time that the CNIL applies the new sanction limits provided by the GDPR. The amount decided, and the publicity of the fine, are justified by the severity of the infringements observed regarding the essential principles of the GDPR: transparency, information and consent.

“Despite the measures implemented by Google (documentation and configuration tools), the infringements observed deprive the users of essential guarantees regarding processing operations that can reveal important parts of their private life since they are based on a huge amount of data, a wide variety of services and almost unlimited possible combinations.”

It is CNIL’s first fine under GDPR, but not near its first run-in with the Google, which is appealing a €100,000 fine levied by the watchdog in 2016 over non-compliance with the “right to be forgotten” rules.

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