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The CNIL imposes record fines on Google and Facebook for their management of cookies


The CNIL imposes a new fine on Google and Facebook. The two firms will have to pay 150 and 60 million euros respectively. Google’s fine amount is the highest in commission history. This accuses them of an unbalanced management of advertising cookies. According to her, it is more difficult to refuse cookies than to accept them, which represents a violation of the Data Protection Act.

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Update January 6 – 6:30 p.m .:

Following the decision of the CNIL and the publication of this article, Google wanted to provide the following details; “Internet users trust us to respect their right to privacy and ensure their security. In accordance with these expectations, we are committed to implementing new changes, as well as to working actively with the CNIL in response to its decision, within the framework of the ePrivacy directive.

Original article from January 6 – 10:59 am:

You know it: websites have a legal obligation to ask your permission to use advertising cookies to track your online journey. You have the choice of refuse or accept all or part of cookies. For example, you can accept site cookies, but not third-party cookies from ad servers. This obligation is part of the famous GDPR (general data protection regulation) implemented on June 1, 2019.

Read also – Free Mobile: the CNIL sentences the operator to a fine of € 300,000

Article 82 specifies how Internet sites must obtain this authorization. The article explains that the user ” must be clearly and fully informed (…) of the means at his disposal to oppose it “. In short, opposing advertising cookies should be as easy as allowing it. However, some sites are reluctant to facilitate the refusal of advertising cookies. And it makes sense: It drastically reduces ad revenue, with a targeted banner paying more than a standard banner.

The CNIL imposes a record fine on Google of 150 million euros

And which sites have the most ad revenue? Google and Facebook of course. In order not to reduce their income, the two American giants do not make it possible to refuse advertising cookies as easily as to accept them. The CNIL (National Commission for Informatics and Liberties) therefore pins the two companies and imposes a heavy fine on them.

The amount of Google’s fine is also the highest in the history of the commission: 150 million euros (90 million euros for Google LLC and 60 million euros for Google Ireland Limited). Facebook’s fine is much lower, since it reaches 60 million euros ” only “.

Google had already been fined 100 million euros in 2020

Google and Facebook have three months to pay these two fines, with a fine of 100,000 euros per day late. Recall that the CNIL had already pinned in December 2020 Google (and Amazon) for abusive use of cookies. The CNIL then imposed a fine of 100 million euros on the Mountain View firm. In 2019, the CNIL also fined Google for its non-compliance with the GDPR. Its amount was 50 million euros.

In a press release, the CNIL explains that several clicks are necessary to refuse advertising cookies on Facebook.com, Youtube.com and Google FR, against only one to accept. This undermines “freedom of consent” according to the commission. “The fact of not being able to refuse cookies as simply as one can accept them skews his choice in favor of consent,” she explains.



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