France serves Google and Amazon with hefty fines for violating cookie consent law

CNIL (Commission Nationale de l'Informatique et des Libert├ęs or National Commission for Computing and Freedoms), France’s data protection agency has served Google and Amazon with fines for dropping cookies without proper consent. According to the report, Google has been fined for a total of €100 million ($120 million) for dropping cookies without any sort of permission on Google.fr and Amazon €35 million ($42 million) for their bad privacy practices.

The regulatory body carried out extensive investigations on both sides and found that tracking cookies to be automatically dropped when a user visited these websites. These cookies were dropped without the required consent from the user.

When it comes to Google, the CNIL took note of three violations, while Amazon made two violations. The CNIL further explained that the French law requires each website to specifically inform the user regarding the dropped cookies.

However, both the tech giants failed to provide specific information about the tracking cookies and were not transparent enough regarding the privacy policy.

The law on tracking cookie and their consent has been clear in Europe for years. The rule was further clarified in October 2019 and stated that consent must be obtained prior to storing a non-essential cookie. It was also said that failure to abide by the rules can result in a big fine under the EU privacy laws.

Unfortunately, Google and Amazon are now finding that out to their cost.

When contacted, both Google and Amazon clarified their position and said that they stand with the rules of the country they are operating in. Amazon has updated information according to the stated laws. However, in the case of Google, the violations are pretty broad and CNIL has given them three months to correct the cookie notices. Failure to abide by the rule can result in further fines of €100,000 per day for Google.

Amazon has also updated its local site – to stop automatic dropping of the tracking cookies. However, CNIL claims that the eCommerce vendor is not transparent about its policies and has issued an injunction to make good on the consent notices within three months or face further fines of €100,000 per day.

These fines are some of the largest tech giants have faced in Europe related to the privacy laws. As per the statement issued by CNIL, they would continue to monitor the privacy protocols served by tech companies to ensure the best interest of the users.

photo: DAMIEN MEYER | AFP | Getty Images

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