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Free mobile sentenced to a fine of 300,000 euros by the Cnil


The digital policeman accuses the French operator of several breaches of the GDPR, the European regulation on data protection.

For not having respected several rights of its customers in terms of protection of personal data, the National Commission for Informatics and Freedoms (Cnil) imposes a fine of 300,000 euros on the French operator Free Mobile.

The regulator was warned of the company’s shortcomings by receiving around 20 complaints from consumers. After conducting its investigation in 2020, the commission identified four breaches of the GDPR, the European data protection regulation. According to the CNIL report, the operator would not have allowed users access to their data, although it is legally obliged to do so.

Then, it did not take into account the requests of complainants who no longer wished to receive commercial prospecting messages. The organization also accuses the company of having continued to send invoices to customers for telephone lines “whose subscription had been terminated“.

Last problem, Free does not protect the passwords of new registrants well enough. “The company transmitted by email, in clear, the passwords of the users», Without forcing people to change their identifier. A risky method that can facilitate hacking if the email box is compromised.

A measured fine

The fine required by the regulatory authority is substantial. “This sanction takes into account the size and financial situation of the company“, Justifies the Cnil. In 2020, Free achieved a little more than 5 billion euros in turnover, including 2.1 billion in its mobile activities and more than 13 million subscribers.

Another point to note is that it is rare that warnings and sanctions against companies are made public. The publicity of this fine must “recall the importance»Protection of users and their data. Over the year 2021, 3.5 million euros were claimed in total by the Cnil from various companies.

The company which opposed this sanction can always appeal against this decision to the Council of State within two months.


SEE ALSO – The operator Free challenges its competitors with a mobile rental-purchase offer (07/06/2021)



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