French watchdog fines Google, Amazon for breaching cookies rules

Platform Industry: Google News

France’s data privacy watchdog has given out its largest ever fine of 100 million euros (approximately $121 million) to Google for violating the country’s principles on internet advertising trackers (cookies).

The CNIL said on Thursday it’d fined e-commerce giant Amazon 35 million euros for violating the same rules,

The regulator found the firms’ French websites didn’t seek the prior consent of visitors before advertising cookies – small pieces of data stored while navigating on the Web – were saved on computers, it said in a statement.

The CNIL rejected the companies’ arguments that it had no right to impose the sanctions because their various European headquarters are in Ireland and Luxembourg – 2 countries perceived by some data privacy advocacy groups as being lenient toward Silicon Valley firms.

The CNIL stated Google’s fine had to be compensated for the most part by its US thing Google LLC (approximately 60 million euros) and the rest by EU-based Google Ireland Limited (40 million).

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Amazon’s fine needs to be paid by its own Luxembourg-based entity.

The CNIL said the companies had three months to alter the information banners. Should they fail to do so, they will face an extra fine of 100,000 euros per day until they comply.

The financial penalty against Google is the largest ever issued from the CNIL, a spokesman for the watchdog said.

The previous record fine of 50 million euros additionally targeted the US technology giant for violating EU data privacy rules.

“Today’s decision under French ePrivacy laws overlooks these efforts and doesn’t account for the fact that French rules and regulatory guidance are uncertain and constantly evolving.”

Amazon said individually it disagreed with CNIL’s conclusion.

“We continuously update our privacy practices to ensure that we meet the evolving needs and expectations of customers and regulators and fully comply with all applicable laws in every country in which we operate,” it stated.

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The team at Platform Executive hope you have enjoyed this news article. Initial reporting via our official content partners at Thomson Reuters. Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain. Writing by Matthieu Protard. Editing by Mark Potter.

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