French privacy authority gives Google 3 months to change its ways

French data protection regulator CNIL is losing patience with Google's refusal to change its privacy policy

France's data protection authority has given Google three months to change the way it handles users' private data, or face legal sanctions.

The order, made on June 10 and published Thursday, is the result of a formal investigation begun by the French National Commission on Computing and Liberty (CNIL) in April, after the company repeatedly rejected requests to reverse changes it made to its privacy policy in March 2012.

In its June 10 decision, CNIL ordered Google to clearly explain to users the ways in which data collected about them will be used; to keep data for no longer than is necessary for the purposes it has declared to users; not to combine data from different sources without legal authority; to fairly process data collected from "passive" users of Google's services through DoubleClick and Analytics cookies or Google +1 buttons on the pages they visit; and to obtain informed consent from users before storing cookies in their mobile phone, PC or other terminal.

If it does not comply, Google could face a fine of a maximum of €150,000 (or €300,000 for a second offense), and could in certain circumstances be ordered to refrain from processing personal data in certain ways for a period of three months.

Such orders are usually secret, but CNIL decided that, given the gravity of the situation, it would publish the order as an additional sanction against Google.

Five other European data protection authorities began similar formal investigations of Google's privacy policy in April. The Spanish regulator has notified Google of its intention to impose sanctions if it does not comply with Spanish data protection law. The Data Protection Commissioner of Hamburg has also opened a formal procedure against Google, while authorities in the U.K., Italy and the Netherlands are still studying Google's updated privacy policy or are awaiting information from the company in order to determine whether it complies with local data protection laws.

Peter Sayer covers open source software, European intellectual property legislation and general technology breaking news for IDG News Service. Send comments and news tips to Peter at peter_sayer@idg.com.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags privacyGooglelegalFrench National Commission on Computing and Liberty (CNIL)

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Peter Sayer

Peter Sayer

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?