Google hit with 150 mln euro French fine

Tech giants Google and Facebook were fined millions of dollars in France on Thursday (January 6).

The country's data privacy authority - the CNIL - said it had fined Alphabet's Google $169 million, a record for the French watchdog.

It said the U.S. company was punished for making it difficult for internet users to refuse online trackers known as cookies.

Meta's Facebook was also fined around $68 million for the same reason.

Requiring internet users' consent for the use of cookies is a key part of the EU's data privacy regulation.

It is also a top priority for the CNIL, which said rejecting cookies should be as easy as accepting them.

The watchdog said that wasn't the case on the Facebook, Google France and YouTube websites.

The CNIL has given both companies three months to comply with its order or face a fine of 100,000 euros per day of delay.

Cookies are tiny bits of data that help build targeted digital ad campaigns.

Google and Facebook will now have to provide French internet users with a simpler tool to turn them off.

It is not the first time the CNIL has targeted Google.

The firm was fined 100 million euros for another cookie-related issue in 2020.

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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