French fine Google over change in privacy policy

CNIL says Google broke a French privacy law when it merged the privacy policies of its services

The French government's privacy watchdog has fined Google €150,000 (US$204,000) over changes the company made to its privacy policy in March 2012.

The changes Google made to its privacy policy don't comply with the French Data Protection Act, the Commission Nationale de L'Informatique et des Libertes (CNIL) said Wednesday.

Google's decision in 2012 to merge the privacy policies of about 60 of its services, including search YouTube, Gmail, Picasa and Docs, led to the French investigation. Google failed to sufficiently inform users about how the services would use their personal data and did not comply with French requirements to get user permission before installing cookies on their computers, CNIL said. Google also combined the data it collects about its users "across all of its services without any legal basis," CNIL said in a press release.

Google's actions had a widespread effect in France, the agency said. "Nearly all Internet users in France are impacted by this decision due to the number of services concerned," it said.

A Google spokeswoman said the company is reading CNIL's report closely to determine its next steps. "We've engaged fully with the CNIL throughout this process to explain our privacy policy and how it allows us to create simpler, more effective services," she added by email.

CNIL's Sanctions Committee did not challenge Google's right to simplify its privacy policies by merging them, the agency said.

The Sanctions Committee has ordered Google to publish the agency's decision at Google.fr within 48 hours and keep it up for eight days.

CNIL announced an investigation into the privacy policy change in September.

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's email address is grant_gross@idg.com.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

How to leverage the Internet of Things to understand consumer intent

'Intent' is the single largest performance marketing variable. It shapes our search queries, dictates our purchase paths and mediates meaningful interactions with brands regardless of channel, media or content type.

Oliver Smith

Business development, Performics Australia

3 ways customer data can increase online sales conversion

Data has been an increasingly critical factor in improving the efficiency and effectiveness of marketing and business operations.

James Bennett

Chief experience officer, Kalido

Our sharing future is both terrifying and exciting

Discussing the future in a realistic fashion is often a disappointing prospect. For all the talk of hoverboards, jetpacks and lightsabers changing the way we do things, the reality tends to end up being something as mundane as a slightly cheaper way to get around the city.

Jason Dooris

CEO and founder, Atomic 212

Hi, i am an Aistralian ALK patient, been on xalkori dec 13 to oct 15 and achieved remission of disease, since been on Ceritinib until no...

gary packer

Pfizer Australia adopts AI-powered digital analyst tool for sales and marketing decision making

Read more

Hi James, shouldn't marketers also be focusing on collecting and utilizing up to date first-party profiling data on customers so that mes...

Tom

3 ways customer data can increase online sales conversion

Read more

Wouldn't reconnecting with younger consumers be in direct contravention of the code on alcohol advertising?

Tim Palmer

Vodka Cruiser reconnects with younger consumers via category-first Facebook Live campaign

Read more

Thanks for the article Jennifer, you raise some interesting points. The supermarket and shopping centre examples particularly struck a c...

Jill Brennan

Why marketers should take note of social robots

Read more

Winning the retail game is really tricky at this point in time. Many retailers have declared themselves as bankrupt. But yes harnessing t...

Vanessa.M.Magers

​Bricks and clicks: Balancing digital and physical to win the retail game

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in