After closely analyzing this new data collection method, CNIL said that it violates the privacy of Google users and it has fined Google with no less than 150,000 EUR, or the equivalent of approximately $205,000. Nevertheless, the United States search engine has announced yesterday that it will appeal against CNIL’s fine. According to Google, the only reason why the company has made these changes was to deliver simpler, more effective and more straightforward services for its customers.
The fine was issued by the CNIL on January the 9th this year, after the Commission has determined that Google was breaching the French data protection law. Not only did the French National Commission On Computing and Liberty fine Google, but it even ordered it to post this decision on the homepage of Google.fr and keep it there for two days (48 hours). Several days later, Google has appealed against the fine with the supreme court for administrative matter, seeking an urgent and immediate suspension of CNIL’s ruling. It is not sure what was more bothersome for Google: the fact that it had to pay that fine (which is approximately .01%, only a small fraction of the total revenue Google makes on a yearly basis) or the fact that it had to report CNIL’s fine on the official homepage of the site.
CNIL has exchanged some letters with Google before it has officially started its investigation on the new, 60-in-one policy, back in April 2013. Two months after that, the CNIL has asked Google to thoroughly explain users how their data will be collected, processed and stored, and for how long rather than using different data sources without the prior consent of the users. The French laws make it very clear that a company or a website needs the consent of its users before saving cookies in their browsers. The reason why CNIL has decided to fine Google was because the latter simply refused to make the necessary policy adjustments in order to be compliant with the French privacy laws.