On Thursday, the French CNIL data protection watchdog said it had fined two Google units for
a total of EUR 100 million and an Amazon subsidiary for advertising cookies for EUR 35 million.
“The regulator stated that the fines were for having installed advertising cookies
on users’ computers… without prior approval and without sufficient details being given.
A cookie is a small piece of data stored on a user’s computer browser
that enables users to be recognized by websites and their previous activities to be remembered.
When a user visited the google.fr website, the CNIL reported that many cookies used for advertising purposes were
automatically placed on his or her computer without any intervention on the part of the user being taken.
It mentioned that while visiting one page
on the amazon.fr website, a similar thing happened.
CNIL claimed that this form of cookie “can only be placed after the
user has given his or her consent” and therefore breached the previous consent laws.
It faulted Google for supplying users with inadequate privacy details because it did not let them know
about the cookies that had been placed and that there was only one operating procedure to block them.
CNIL also reported that until a redesign in September 2020, Amazon had not
provided consistent or full details on the cookies it placed on users’ computers.
In September, Google also stopped putting cookies on users’ computers without permission, CNIL
said but added that it still failed to provide satisfactory explanations for their use.
“The regulator said they were either insufficiently informed or never informed of the fact that cookies
were placed on their computer, “no matter what route the users used to access the website.
The Amazon Europe Core subsidiary
has a 35-million-euro ($42-million) fine.
CNIL has levied fines amounting to EUR 60 million against
Google LLC and EUR 40 million against Google Ireland Limited.
SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN