FRANCE (CelebrityAccess) Google was hit today with a nearly $57 million fine by French regulators for violating Europe’s new privacy laws.
Google is the first U.S. company to be hit with a violation, according to the UPI. France’s National Commission on Informatics and Liberty, aka CNIL, said that Google did not comply with the rules that went into effect last year, especially concerning consent of users before exposing them to personalized ads and explaining to users how their personal information is used on the site and collected.
“Essential information, such as the data processing purposes, the data storage periods or the categories of personal data used for the ads personalization, are excessively disseminated across several documents, with buttons and links on which it is required to click to access complementary information,” the CNIL statement said. “The relevant information is accessible after several steps only, implying sometimes up to five or six actions. For instance, this is the case when a user wants to have complete information on his or her data collected for the personalization purposes or for the geo-tracking service.”
CNIL further said that the privacy information Google gave users was unclear and marginal.
“The restricted committee observes in particular that the purposes of processing are described in a too generic and vague manner, and so are the categories of data processed for these various purposes,” the CNIL said. “Similarly, the information communicated is not clear enough so that the user can understand that the legal basis of processing operations for the ads personalization is the consent, and not the legitimate interest of the company.
Google said it was reviewing CNIL’s verdict.
“People expect high standards of transparency and control from us,” Google said in a statement to The Washington Post. “We’re deeply committed to meeting those expectations and the consent requirements of the [General Data Protection Regulation].”