On December 7, 2020, the CNIL fined Google LLC and Google Ireland Limited with a total fine of 100 million euros, in particular for deploying advertising cookies on the google.fr visitors’ devices without prior consent and for not meeting transparency requirements.
Deploying cookies without prior consent
The CNIL has found that google.fr has been deploying advertising cookies on users’ devices without their prior consent and as such cookies are not considered essential cookies, prior consent should have been requested.
Lack of transparency
The opt-out mechanism wasn’t disabling all advertising cookies
When a user deactivates the personalization of ads on Google, using the mechanism available through “Consult now” button, one of the advertising cookies remained stored on their computer and continued to be used.
The CNIL fined Google LLC with a fine of 60 million euros and Google Ireland Limited with a fine of 40 million euros. The violation affected fifty million users. It was pointed out that these companies have made high profits from the use of advertising cookies. Since September 2020, the advertising cookies have not been deployed automatically. Nonetheless, the new banner does not allow users to understand the purposes for which cookies are used and refuse these cookies.
An injuction has been issued to rectify the remaining issues. If the companies do not abide by it, they will be exposed to the payment of a fine of 100,000 euros per day of delay.
Note: Google LLC, established in California, developed the Google search engine. Google Ireland Limited, headquartered in Ireland, presents itself as the European headquarters of the Google group. Google France is an establishment of GOOGLE LLC in France.
The information in this article is available in the CNIL’s press release.