Google Slapped With $57 Million Fine Over Advert Personalisation

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French regulators are blaming Google for violating Europe’s new data privacy rules after a close investigation that began on May 25, 2018, the day the General Data Protection Regulation was implemented. The new rules launched in European countries aims primarily to give control to individuals over their personal data and to simplify the regulatory environment for international business by unifying the regulation within the EU.

Google is, therefore, being subjected to a fine of $57 million in what the French top data privacy agency says is “deprivation of essential guarantees to the user regarding processing operations that can reveal important parts of their private life since they are based on a huge amount of data, a wide variety of services and almost unlimited possible combinations.”

The regulations in part recommend that; “A processor of personal data must clearly disclose any data collection, declare the lawful basis and purpose for data processing, and state how long data is being retained and if it is being shared with any third parties or outside of the EEA. Data subjects have the right to request a portable copy of the data collected by a processor in a common format, and the right to have their data erased under certain circumstances.”

In a statement, Google said: “People expect high standards of transparency and control from us. We’re deeply committed to meeting those expectations and the consent requirements of the GDPR.” The Alphabet owned company also went ahead to say it is studying the decision to determine the company’s next steps.

According to the France based regulator, the lack of transparency is even more jarring to users as several documents give full details of exactly how Google uses personal information. This owes to the fact that Google also operates other services including Maps, YouTube and app store.

Even though Google users can modify their privacy settings when they create an account, French regulators said it still isn’t enough — partly because the default setting is for Google to display personalized ads to users. Meanwhile, Google requires people who sign up to agree to its terms and conditions in full to create their accounts, a form of consent that the CNIL faulted because it requires users to agree to everything — or not use the service at all.

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Melissa Daniels
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