On the 21st January 2019, France’s data-privacy watchdog, The CNIL imposed a financial penalty of 50 Million Euros against the company GOOGLE LLC, in conformity with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) for “lack of transparency, inadequate information and lack of valid consent regarding the ads personalization”
The case investigation:
Two complaints were received in regards to the GDPR violation, one on the 25th of May 2018 from the associations “None Of Your Business” (“NOYB”) and on the 28th of May 2018 which was expressed by “La Quadrature du Net (“LQDN”)”. In both the complaints, the associations expressed their disappointment for GOOGLE not having a valid legal basis to process the personal data of the users of its services, particularly for ads personalization purposes.
Course of Action by CNIL:
On the 1st of June 2018, CNIL started to take their movement in investigating more about these complaints. They carried out online inspections by analyzing the browsing pattern of a user and the documents he or she can have access when creating a GOOGLE account during the configuration of mobile equipment using Android.
CNIL observed two types of GDPR breaches:
- Violation of the obligations of transparency and information
- Violation of the obligation to have a legal basis for ads personalization processing
With the confirmation of observed complaints, CNIL imposed a high financial penalty of 57 Million euros against GOOGLE, which is the highest penalty ever put on, for GDPR violation.
The amount was completely justified based on the principles of breaking GDPR laws: transparency, information, and consent.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) applied on 25 May 2018, this new law applies to all companies that collect and process data belonging to European Union (EU) citizens. This includes companies with operations in the EU and/or a website or app that collects and processes EU citizen data.
It expands the rights of individuals to control how their personal data is collected and processed and places a range of new obligations on organizations to be more accountable for data protection.