Brussels (Brussels Morning) France has fined US tech giants Google and Facebook for their business practices.
The National Commission on Informatics and Liberty (CNIL) slapped Google with a fine of 150 million euro and Facebook with one of 60 million, FRI reports.
It pointed out that the companies do not enable users to reject tracking cookies as straight-forwardly as it does when allowing them to okay their use. Cookies are used to track the activity of users online.
The US tech giants have been under growing pressure in Europe to change their business practices and have faced fines as well as plans to adopt new EU rules to regulate their operations.
The CNIL fine imposed on Google sets a new record. It beats the previous high of 100 million euro that was imposed in December 2020, also because of the company’s cookie policies.
The two tech giants have been given three months to change their business practices, CNIL having pointed out that should they fail to do so by the deadline they will face daily fines of 100,000 euro.
Google to comply
Google asserted that it would change its practices, noting that “in accordance with the expectations of internet users… we are committed to implementing new changes, as well as to working actively with CNIL in response to its decision.”
Privacy advocates have been pointing out that tech giants profit from violating their users’ privacy, citing that their main source of revenue is personalised advertising.
In 2018, the EU adopted personal data rules that require online companies to ask for explicit consent from users to install tracking cookies on their computers.
According to CNIL, Google, Facebook and YouTube push their users to accept tracking cookies, noting that accepting cookies on those sites requires one click while the act of rejecting them requires more clicks.
It reiterated that the companies will face daily sanctions if they fail to comply with its ruling by April this year.
Recently, CNIL noted that it had sent 90 formal warnings to websites since April last year. The French daily Le Figaro was the first company it sanctioned for allowing its advertising partners to install their tracking cookies without user approval.