France's privacy watchdog today fined Google LLC 50 million euros, or about $57 million, for breaching the General Data Protection Regulation that the European Union passed a year ago. Google is the first major USA tech company to be penalized since these regulations were implemented by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in 2018.
Among other things, information about the use of the collected data and the storage period for the user are not easily accessible enough, said the authority.
The EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the biggest shake-up of data privacy laws in more than two decades, came into force in May. Google has issued a statement pledging to meet the expectations of Europe and the GDPR. It launched the investigation in response to complaints from two nonprofit privacy groups, None Of Your Business and La Quadrature du Net, that were filed last May within days of GDPR being enacted into law.
A Google spokesperson said the digital giant is now studying the decision to determine its next steps.
Schrems had accused Google of securing "forced consent" via its Android mobile operating software through the use of pop-up boxes online or on its apps which imply that its services will not be available unless the conditions of use are accepted.
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CNIL found that Google made it hard for users to access information about data processing and data storage periods, and about how this data was used for ad personalization.
Even though many tech multinationals like Google are headquartered in the USA, they still have to comply with the new rules because they have millions of users in Europe.
Today's decision comes less than a year after the CNIL started examining how Google collects data on Android.
Google has been fined for not having "legal basis" for processing personal data in France. In recent years, European Union officials have penalized Apple for its tax practices, probed Facebook for multiple privacy scandals and slapped Google with a record-breaking fine on charges it sought to undermine its corporate rivals.
Furthermore, Google violated the GDPR by asking users to agree to its terms of service and to the processing of their data before they could create an account.
The group recently filed complaints against streaming services Apple Music, Amazon Prime, Netflix, Google YouTube, Soundcloud, Spotify, DAZN and Filmmit, alleging they have failed respond adequately to users' requests for access to data held on them.