The French data protection authority CNIL found data protection violations of the US Internet company Google and sentenced him to a fine of 50 million euros. In addition to the NGO LQDN, the Austrian Facebook critic Max Schrems and his organisation NOYB had filed a complaint.
The authority stated that Google provided all the necessary information, but made it difficult to access, making it difficult for users to get an overview of all privacy related information. CNIL also criticised Google’s personalised advertising. Users would not be sufficiently informed about the actions they would take to agree to them.
The fine now imposed is the first conviction pronounced by the authority under the new EU data protection rules. The basic data protection regulation, which has been in force for some time, allows fines of up to four percent of a company’s annual turnover, which explains the high fine.
As part of its investigation, the French data protection authority gradually went through the opening of a Google account using the Android operating system. While Google provided a lot of privacy information as part of the sign-in process, it took several clicks to get to that information. In addition, the relevant information was spread over several individual documents, which made the overview more difficult. In addition, some information is unclear.
Google announced its intention to decide on the further course of action in this case after a detailed examination of the decision. The company is determined to meet the high expectations of users with regard to transparency and data control. Financially, the amount should not be a major problem for Google. Not long ago, the Group was able to cope without any problems with significantly higher fines imposed by the EU Commission.
Max Schrems, who heads the donation-financed organization NOYB (stands for None of Your Business), welcomed the decision. He welcomed the fact that European authorities would seize the opportunity to penalise clear infringements. Schrems also recently filed complaints against Apple and Amazon.