France slaps Google with $204,000 fine over privacy policy

By on January 9, 2014, 12:15 PM
google, france, privacy, cnil

France's data protection watchdog on Wednesday fined Google 150,000 Euros ($204,000) after the search giant ignored a three month ultimatum to comply with French privacy laws. In addition to the fine, the watchdog, known as CNIL, also ordered Google to post the decision on its French home page (google.fr) for 48 hours within eight days of being officially notified of the ruling.

The ruling clearly states that the regulatory body has no problem with Google's merging of its various services' privacy policies into one, but the way the company implemented the new privacy policy was illegal. Although, the fine is the biggest ever levied by the French regulator, it's a small amount for a company which reported $15 billion in revenue in a single quarter last year.

The regulatory body justified its demand of posting the decision on Google's home page because of "the extent of Google’s data collection, as well as by the necessity to inform the persons concerned who are not in a capacity to exercise their rights".

The issue of data protection has become a priority of governments throughout the world, especially in the wake of Edward Snowden's revelations regarding the US government's PRISM program to monitor Internet users. Several other countries like Spain, Britain, Netherlands, Italy, and Germany, have also opened similar cases against Google.

Google France said that they will study the statement and decide on the next steps.

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