Google loses appeal

Paris: France’s highest administrative authority dismissed a challenge by Google against a fine of 50 million euros ($56 million) for failing to provide adequate information on its data consent policies.

The fine was imposed in 2019 by France´s data watchdog, the CNIL.

It found at the time that Google made it too difficult for users to understand and manage preferences on how their personal information is used, in particular with regards to targeted advertising. Its ruling applied principles enshrined in the EU´s strict new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Google then appealed.

But on Friday, the Council of State, a French government body that is also the court of last resort for matters of administrative justice, confirmed the CNIL ruling.

It agreed the information that Google provided to users “does not meet the requirements of clarity and accessibility required by the GDPR” even when the nature and volume of data collected was “particularly intrusive.”

The council said the CNIL´s record fine was not disproportionate “given the particular seriousness of the breaches committed, their continuous nature and duration, the ceilings provided for by the GDPR (up to four percent of turnover) and Google´s financial situation.”

In a statement sent to AFP, the American giant said it would “now examine the changes we need to make”.

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