Google fined $57 million for lack of transparency

Roman Schwartz
January 22, 2019

The French watchdog's fine against Google follows complaints filed by None Of Your Business (NOYB) and La Quadrature du Net (LQDN) on 25 and 28 May 2018 against Google LLC for "not having a valid legal basis to process the personal data of the users of its services, particularly for ads personalization goal".

The two complaints were filed jointly on the day the law went into effect by the French digital advocacy group La Quadrature du Net and the group Noyb.eu, a watchdog organization started by Max Schrems.

"The relevant information is accessible after several steps only, implying sometimes up to 5 or 6 actions", CNIL said.

Additionally, Acxiom, Oracle, Criteo, Quantcast, Tapad, Equifax, and Experian were also subjects of a GDPR complaint filed by user rights group Privacy International due to their practice of collecting the data of millions and using it to create user profiles.

The regulator said it judged that people were "not sufficiently informed" about how Google collected data to personalise advertising.

For Google, its fine in France marks only its latest headache in Europe.

In a statement, Google said it was "studying the decision" to determine its next steps.

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She said: "People are interested in my personal life". "They understand that they have to act in a responsible way because of it". Mel confirmed the news, stating: "She's one of five, so we all have to agree on stuff and we all take a percentage".

According to CNIL, Google's violations center around the ambiguity of information presented to users about their data collection and usage, as well as failure to include information about the data retention period for some information. "It is important that the authorities make it clear that simply claiming to be compliant is not enough", he said.

The European Union's General Data Protection Regulation gives Europeans more control over their information and how companies use it.

The Reg asked Google to comment and will update the article when we receive a reply.

"The information on processing operations for the ads personalisation is diluted in several documents and does not enable the user to be aware of their extent", it said. We're deeply committed to meeting those expectations and the consent requirements of the GDPR. Google's description of why it's processing their data is "described in a too generic and vague manner", it added.

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.

Users' "consent" is now set as the global default setting, which fails to meet the regulator's requirement that companies obtain "specific" consent. Now that the new, EU-wide law is in place, the maximum is €20 million or 4% of global annual revenues.

Google has kicked off 2019 by getting hit with yet another multimillion-dollar fine from a European regulator.

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