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 ( 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.

User Comments: 5

Got something to say? Post a comment
wastedkill said:

Wow $204,000 fine thats really gonna make them rethink their privacy policy... these fines are stupidly low its like they wanna loose more money on giving out a fine than actually benefiting from it...

A fine of $1billion+ WILL make them rethink their privacy policy a $204,000 fine is like google being told their fly is open...

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Another pointless fine that only serves to line government pockets, while wearing a disguise to help consumer privacy. It is pointless because in the end it does no good. There is only one winner, the one giving fines. Google couldn't care less about such a small fine and the consumer privacy will continue to be a concern.

Xclusiveitalian Xclusiveitalian said:

$200,000 is chump change to Google, don't make them laugh.

IvanAwfulitch IvanAwfulitch said:

That's a really low move considering the spying program that France already has in place. Hypocritical is a severe understatement. France, get rid of your PRISM clone spy program, and maybe you can let the rest of us worry about privacy policies.

Guest said:

It's simple...don't use Google. Why allow technology to feed the greed of those offering convenience and laziness over user privacy? Use sites directly, 'personal search bots' and alternate search engines -- before it's too late!

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.