Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) has been fined £44 million (€50 million) by the French data regulator CNIL for breaching European privacy laws.
CNIL dealt Google with the record fine after finding that Google had breached the rules of the recently passed GDPR regulations.
This is the first fine that the regulator has dealt a penalty since the enforcement of new EU privacy laws in 2018.
Firstly, the French watchdog found that the tech company did not make information on data collection clearly accessible for its users.
Specifically, CNIL said information on data storage or data processing often took several steps for users to reach, sometimes involving as many as 5 or 6 clicks.
Secondly, CNIL concluded that Google also violated EU restrictions regarding personalised ads.
Whilst Google obtains consent from its users, CNIL said this was not valid as users were not sufficiently informed with information often proving ‘diluted’ and not ‘unambiguous’.
In a statement, Google said: “People expect high standards of transparency and control from us. We’re deeply committed to meeting those expectations and the consent requirements of the GDPR. We’re studying the decision to determine our next steps.”
The European Parliament passed GDPR last year after a string of controversies hit the headlines, involving data collection and the misuse of user information by social media platforms.
Specifically, incidents such as the exposure of the Cambridge Analytica Facebook scandal, led to the enforcement of the more stringent restrictions upon businesses and their respective data collection procedures.
As such, GDPR is one of the most far reaching privacy reforms ever passed by the EU, with the 99 articles legally binding and applicable to all member states.
Back in October, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) was dealt the maximum fine of £500,000 by the UK’s data protection watchdog, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for the data breach.