Google is facing the largest GDPR financial penalty yet at a whopping USD 56.9 million for a breach in Europe. On January 21, 2019, France’s National Data Protection Commission (CNIL) issued the fine after it received complaints over Google’s lack of transparency, inadequate information, and lack of valid consent regarding ad personalization. This comes as a huge blow for Google, whose success was built on harvesting the personal data of millions to sell targeted ads.
The French security watchdog found a privacy breach following its investigations based on complaints from None of Your Business (NOYB) and La Quadrature du Net (LQDN) in 2018. Google violated GDPR provisions by not making its privacy policies easily accessible and neglecting to give users enough control over how their information is used in each of its services. Rather than providing essential information on one page, users have to execute up to five or six actions to view the full extent of the policy guidelines.
In response, a Google spokesperson said “it is studying the decision to determine our next steps.” This isn't the first GDPR fine to be issued, but it’s by far the biggest. Separately, Google has also been accused of GDPR privacy violations by consumer groups across seven European countries over its location-tracking feature.
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The GDPR, which went into effect on May 25, 2018, created a set of strict privacy rules concerning data. Tech giants like Google, Facebook, YouTube, Netflix, Apple, and Amazon have all been accused of breaking the regulation. All organizations regardless of size must adhere to these regulations or risk facing costly repercussions.
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