Google loses appeal against $56mn GDPR fine in France

In a setback for Google, the search giant has lost an appeal against a 50 million-euro ($56 million) fine imposed by France’s data watchdog last year for violating European Union’s rules on online privacy.

France’s top court for administrative law on Friday upheld the decision that accused Google of not making it very clear how it processes personal information of Android users, TechCrunch reported.

France’s data watchdog, CNIL, in January last year ruled that information provided by Google to Android users was not “sufficiently clear”.

It implied that Google did not legally obtain user consent for using their data for targeted ads, according to CNIL.

The decision was based on the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which came into force in 2018.

“The Council of State confirms the CNIL’s assessment that information relating to targeting advertising is not presented in a sufficiently clear and distinct manner for the consent of the user to be validly collected,” the court wrote on its website.

Although the fine is a small fraction of Google parent Alphabet’s global revenue, it remains the largest GDPR fine on a tech giant till date, TechCrunch reported.

“People expect to understand and control how their data is used, and we’ve invested in industry-leading tools that help them do both,” a Google spokeswoman was quoted as saying in a statement.

“This case was not about whether consent is needed for personalised advertising, but about how exactly it should be obtained. In light of this decision, we will now review what changes we need to make.”.

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