France’s data protection regulator, the French National Freedom of Information Commission or CNIL, imposed a total fine of 135 million euros (approximately US$163 million) on Google and Amazon for violating the country’s data protection laws.
Google was fined a total of 100 million euros (approximately $121 million), while Amazon was fined 35 million euros (approximately $42 million).
In both cases, CNIL’s complaints are similar. It said that in the past, when users visited the French websites of the two companies, cookies were placed on their devices without prior consent, including some cookies used for advertising.
Although both companies have since updated their websites to place cookies before obtaining user consent, regulators criticized their cookie information banners for not providing enough information or being clear enough to allow visitors to reject these cookies.
The regulator gave the last three months to resolve the outstanding issues, or risk being fined 100,000 Euros (approximately US$120,000) per day.
In response to the fine, an Amazon spokesperson said the company did not agree with CNIL’s decision. The company said: “We will continue to update our privacy practices to ensure that we meet the changing needs and expectations of our customers and regulators and fully comply with all applicable laws in the countries where we operate.”
Google also fought back against regulators and said it would support providing users with information about tracking and control. “Today, the decision made under the French Electronic ePrivacy Law ignores these efforts and does not take into account the fact that French regulations and regulatory guidelines are still uncertain and evolving. A Google spokesperson said: “We will continue to make improvements to To better understand the problems of CNIL, we will continue to cooperate with CNIL. ”
The latest fines provide more evidence that European regulators take the enforcement of data privacy rules seriously, which have been considerably strengthened in recent years. Bloomberg pointed out that the latest fine imposed by the CNIL on Google is twice the previous fine imposed on Google. So far, Google has been sentenced by the European Commission (European Commission) to a series of antitrust fines totaling more than 8 billion euros.