Facebook, Google Face € 150 million French fine for breaching cookies

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The French data protection authority CNIL said Thursday it had fined Alphabet’s Google a record 150 million euros (about 1,265 billion rupees) for making it difficult for internet users to refuse online trackers known as cookies.

For the same reason, Facebook was fined 60 million euros (approx. 505 billion rupees) by Meta Platforms, the CNIL said.

“The CNIL has determined that the websites facebook.com, google.fr and youtube.com do not allow refusing cookies as easily as accepting them,” said the watchdog in a statement, citing the video streaming platform of Google.

The agency said the two companies would have three months to comply with their instructions or face an additional fine of EUR 100,000 (about Rs. 85 billion) per day of delay.

This includes the commitment by Google and Facebook to provide French internet users with easier tools to reject cookies in order to guarantee their consent.

The CNIL said that while Google and Facebook provided a virtual button to allow cookies to be accepted immediately, there was no equivalent to refuse them so easily.

“People trust that we will respect and protect their right to privacy. We understand our responsibility to protect this trust and, in light of this decision, commit to further changes and active cooperation with the CNIL, ”said a Google spokesman.

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

© Thomson Reuters 2022

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