Google could be facing a hefty fine in France for not complying with requests to modify how they treat user data. France's privacy watchdog, the Commission Nationale de l'Informatique et des Libertés, or CNIL, issued a three-month deadline for compliance back in June which has now expired.

The group has since started a court-like procedure against the search giant that could take several months and may end up with a hearing. According to the Wall Street Journal, a person briefed on the matter said the CNIL is trying to determine whether it would be legal to count every Google user in the country as an infraction.

Such a move would multiply potential fines well past the current maximum of 150,000 euros ($203,000) for first-time offenders. A repeat offense would accrue an additional fine of 300,000 euros according to Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin, chairwoman of the French authority. Other regulators could also impose sanctions against Google to the tune of 1 million euros which collectively would mean several million euros paid in, not to mention it could tarnish the search giant's image.

A Google spokesperson said their privacy policy respects local European law and they have engaged with the CNIL fully throughout the entire process.

The privacy watchdog wants Google to tell users exactly why they collect information which would help users understand the process of data collection. What's more, the group wants Google to better inform users of their privacy policy and define retention periods of personal data processed that do not exceed the period necessary for the purposes for which they are collected.