Google France published CNIL’s fine on its homepage

By EDRi · February 12, 2014

On 7 February 2014, the French State Council rejected Google’s request
made on 14 January 2014 to partially suspend the penalty received for
privacy infringement from CNIL – the French Data Protection Authority.

On 3 January 2014, CNIL fined Google 150 000 euro over its privacy
policies and was required to post a message regarding the penalty on its
French homepage. The CNIL considers that “the company does not
sufficiently inform its users about the conditions and purposes of
processing data”, that “it does not set retention periods for all data
process” and that “it allows, without any legal basis, the combination
of all the data it collects about users across all of its services”.

Google asked for the suspension of the message part but was rejected.
The State Council considered there was not enough urgency nor proof of
damage to Google’s reputation as Google was claiming in its request.

Therefore, starting with 8 February, the company displayed, for 48h, the
following message: “Press release: the limited formation of the National
Commission on Informatics and Liberty CNIL has fined Google €150,000 for
violating the law on “information and freedoms”. The decision can be
accessed at the following web address,” and a link followed.

The message resulted in CNIL’s site crashing, for a few hours, due to
the very high access volume.

Google has also filed a second appeal. “We’ve engaged fully with the
CNIL throughout this process to explain our privacy policy and how it
allows us to create simpler, more effective services. We will comply
with the order to post the notice, but we’ll also continue with our
appeal before the Conseil d’Etat,” said an e-mail statement from Google
spokesman to Reuters.

Google is under investigation in similar cases in Spain, UK, Germany,
Italy and the Netherlands in which it is argued that its privacy policy
breaches the rules regarding personal data processing and storage.

The State Council rejects the suspension request of Google Inc. (only in
French, 7.02.2014)

Google bound to post CNIL’s penalty on its home page (only in French,

Google’s link to French privacy fine crashes watchdog’s site

EDRi-gram: Google was fined by French and Spanish Data Protection
Authorities (15.01.2014)