Security News > 2022 > January > France Fines Google, Facebook €210 Million Over Privacy Violating Tracking Cookies

France Fines Google, Facebook €210 Million Over Privacy Violating Tracking Cookies
2022-01-06 23:35

The Commission nationale de l'informatique et des libertés, France's data protection watchdog, has slapped Facebook and Google with fines of €150 million and €60 million for violating E.U. privacy rules by failing to provide users with an easy option to reject cookie tracking technology.

HTTP cookies are small pieces of data created while a user is browsing a website and placed on the user's computer or other device by the user's web browser to track online activity across the web and store information about the browsing sessions, including logins and details entered in form fields such as names and addresses.

Specifically, the CNIL found fault with the manner in which the two platforms require several clicks to reject all cookies, as opposed to having a single override to refuse all of them, effectively making it harder to reject cookies than to accept them.

In order to refuse cookies, Facebook makes users click a button titled "Accept Cookies".

Along with imposing monetary penalties against Google and Meta, the CNIL has also ordered the tech giants to alter how they currently present cookie choices and provide users in the country with a simple means of refusing cookies within three months, or risk facing further fines of €100,000 per day of delay.

In December 2020, the regulator levied Google €100 million and Amazon Europe €35 million for having placed advertising cookies on users' devices without seeking their prior consent.

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