France fines Google $ 57 million for violating EU data privacy rules under GDPR

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The data protection watchdog of France imposed a fine of EUR 50 million ($ 57 million) from Alphabet on Monday on Monday [Jan. 21] for violating online EU privacy rules, the largest such sanction against an American technology giant.

The French regulator said that the world's largest search engine lacks transparency and clarity in the way he informs users about the processing of personal data and has not received the proper permission for personalized advertisements.

The EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the largest upheaval of data privacy laws in more than two decades, came into force in May. This allows users to better manage their personal data and allows regulators to impose fines of up to 4 percent of worldwide revenue for violations.

"The amount of the fine and the publicity of the fine are justified by the seriousness of the infringements found in relation to the essential principles of the GDPR: transparency, information and consent," said the CNIL in a statement.

Google has issued a statement stating that people "expect high standards of transparency and control from us."

"We are determined to meet those expectations and the GDPR's consent requirements," he said, adding that it is investigating its next steps.

The CNIL decision follows complaints from two non-governmental organizations, None Of Your Business (noyb) and La Quadrature du Net (LQDN), of which the regulator claimed that it had been mandated by 10,000 people to present the case.

The French authority, known for its strict interpretation of privacy rules and for promoting a tricky approach to US internet companies, records a record with this fine, which could sound in Silicon Valley.

"More than just a significant amount of money, this sanction is especially damaging to Google because it immediately questions its business model and will most likely require them to change their services thoroughly," said Sonia Cissé, Managing Partner at Linklaters, said.

($ 1 = 0.8797 euros) (Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain, editing by Alexander Smith)

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