Google Fined 50M Euros for Lack of Transparency

The French data protection watchdog CNIL has fined Google a record €50 million.
January 23, 2019

The French data protection watchdog CNIL has fined Google a record €50 million for failing to provide users with transparent and understandable information on its data use policies. For the first time, the company was fined using new terms laid out in the pan-European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The maximum fine for large companies under the new law is 4 percent of annual turnover, meaning the potential maximum fine for Google was almost €4 billion.

The fine was levied, CNIL said, because Google made it too difficult for users to find essential information, “such as the data-processing purposes, the data storage periods or the categories of personal data used for the ads personalization”, by splitting them across multiple documents, help pages and settings screens. That lack of clarity meant that users were effectively unable to exercise their right to opt out of data-processing for personalization of ads.

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