Google Slapped with $57 Million Fine in Landmark GDPR Case

French authorities have fined Alphabet’s

French authorities have fined Alphabet’s

As concluded by CNIL's press release (original French version here) regarding Google's €50 million financial penalty, the fine was justified by the gravity of the company's infringements of essential GDPR principles such as information, transparency, and consent.

France's data protection watchdog is slapping Google with an unprecedented fine citing the company's failure to meet privacy and transparency standards with user information.

In September previous year, the French regulator studied the information that's made available to users when they create a Google account on a new Android phone.

Although Google responded to the decision by saying that they committed to meeting the "high standards of transparency and control" expected of them by users - as well as by the strict new European Union data law - they are nonetheless challenging the decision. They were described in a too generic and vague manner.

According to CNIL, Google was fined for lack of transparency, inadequate information and lack of valid consent regarding the ads personalization.

It's the biggest regulatory enforcement action since the European GDPR came into force in May last year, with some of the regulations tipped to also roll out in Australia this year.

In 2018, Google faced a much larger, record US$5 billion fine for stifling competitors on Android, its smartphone operating system.

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'We're studying the decision to determine our next steps'.

The commission said Google users were "not sufficiently informed" about what they were agreeing to as the company collected data for targeted advertisements. The GDPR is the world's first major attempt to regulate large tech firms like Google, Facebook, Amazon, etc., and is forcing those companies to critically examine their own policies and procedures when it comes to data collection. We're deeply committed to meeting those expectations and the consent requirements of the GDPR.

It said the option to personalise ads was "pre-ticked" when creating an account, which did not respect the GDPR rules. "It is important that the authorities make it clear that simply claiming to be compliant is not enough", he said.

Despite Google's changes, the CNIL said in a statement that "the infringements observed deprive the users of essential guarantees regarding processing operations that can reveal important parts of their private life since they are based on a huge amount of data, a wide variety of services and nearly unlimited possible combinations".

The severity of the violations, in this case, was also amplified by the fact that Google is still violating GDPR's provisions in a continuous form as detailed by the French watchdog's report.

La Quadrature du Net said it welcomes the "first part of the response to our complaint against Google".

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