Cookies: GOOGLE fined 150 million euros
On December 31, 2021, the CNIL fined GOOGLE a total of 150 million euros (90 million euros for GOOGLE LLC and 60 million euros for GOOGLE IRELAND LIMITED) because users of google.fr and youtube.com can't refuse or accept cookies as easily.
Failure to comply with the French Data Protection Act
The CNIL has received many complaints about the way cookies can be refused on the websites google.fr and youtube.com. In June 2021, the CNIL carried out an online investigation on these websites and found that, while they offer a button allowing immediate acceptance of cookies, the sites do not implement an equivalent solution (button or other) enabling the user to refuse the deposit of cookies equally easily. Several clicks are required to refuse all cookies, against a single one to accept them.
The restricted committee, the CNIL body in charge of issuing sanctions, judged that making the refusal mechanism more complex actually discourages users from refusing cookies and encourages them to opt for the ease of the "I accept" button.
The CNIL's restricted committee fined GOOGLE LLC 90 million euros and GOOGLE IRELAND LIMITED 60 million euros, both of which were made public.
It justified these amounts in particular by the number of people affected and the considerable profits that the companies make from advertising revenues indirectly generated from the data collected by cookies.
In addition to the administrative fines, the restricted committee also issued an injunction with periodic penalty payments requiring that the companies provide Internet users located in France, within three months of the notification of the decision, with a means of refusing cookies that is as simple as the existing means of accepting them, in order to guarantee their freedom of consent. Otherwise, the companies may pay a penalty of 100,000 euros per day of delay.
Jurisdiction of the CNIL
It also considered that they are jointly responsible since they both determine the purposes and means of using cookies.
Note: GOOGLE LLC, based in California, develops the search engine Google Search and YouTube. GOOGLE IRELAND LIMITED, with its head office located in Ireland, presents itself as the European head office of the Google group. The company GOOGLE FRANCE is the establishment in France of the company GOOGLE LLC.