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Google's been fined €50 million for violating GDPR rules

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Google Logo dark (Image credit: Android Central)

On January 21, 2019, France's National Data Protection Commission (CNIL) announced that Google is being fined a total of €50 million for failing to comply with certain rules set in place by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that officially went into effect in May 2018.

As for why the fine was issued, CNIL says that Google doesn't make it clear enough in regards to what data it collects from users and fails to give people enough control over how their data is used by Google.

Indeed, the general structure of the information chosen by the company does not enable to comply with the Regulation. Essential information, such as the data processing purposes, the data storage periods or the categories of personal data used for the ads personalization, are excessively disseminated across several documents, with buttons and links on which it is required to click to access complementary information.Users are not able to fully understand the extent of the processing operations carried out by GOOGLE. But the processing operations are particularly massive and intrusive because of the number of services offered (about twenty), the amount and the nature of the data processed and combined. The restricted committee observes in particular that the purposes of processing are described in a too generic and vague manner, and so are the categories of data processed for these various purposes.

Google has since responded to the fine, saying that the company is "deeply committed to meet "the high standards of transparency and control."

This is officially the largest GDPR fine to be issued against a company, and not only that, Google is the first big tech brand to be hit with one.

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Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.

25 Comments
  • Just pull out of the EU and see how they faire.
  • Go ahead. Their services can be fulfilled by others. Our money, on the other hand, can't be replaced. Google has more to lose than us.
    So they should probably start obeying our laws, realise this isn't 'murica and that corporations here don't get to violate our privacy and our laws without consequences.
  • Personally, I'm happy I don't live there. A lot of the laws pertaining to tech seem idiotic, especially this new news snippet stuff. Companies aren't going to license from every single news provider so eventually people will miss out. I'll stay here in America where stuff actually makes sense. And let's be real, privacy on the internet doesn't exist.
  • Gotta be honest, my girlfriend lives in Poland so I have traveled a lot throughout mainland Europe and the British isles and no matter how things aren't perfect in the US there is no way I'd live in Europe. It's cool to visit or even to study abroad but settling down no way. The tax/eu/NHS and various social issues.
  • Yeppers why I live in the U.S. even my borther is getting sick of it lives in Germany...and asking me how to start the Visa... And my niece she lives Austria. Next year she'll be coming down living with us while she's going to universty at USM... she just got her visa she see the writing on the wall over there with the taxes. Go eagles...
  • There's no way I'd want to live in country without an NHS type arrangement or the consumer & citizen protections afforded us by the EU. Worth every single tax dollar. The US is capitalism & consumerism run amok. Nice to visit but wouldn't want to live there.
  • I agree about the NHS, it's the best thing about living in Britain. The Tories are starving it of cash at the moment, but given the choice of losing either the NHS or Google it is bye bye Google. China manages without Google, Europe would too if need be.
  • NHS? Are you actually serious???
  • Wait what? Free healthcare is something you wouldn't come and live in the UK for? That seems...IDK, odd.
  • I don't get sick so I don't really care. I'm sure it's good for people with a lot of health problems though. Our Healthcare system here in the US definitely needs work, but it's not something I would even come close to thinking about if I were trying to decide where to move.
  • > Free healthcare is something you wouldn't come and live in the UK for? You are absolutely right that it is hard to beat the price, but what you get in return is not necessarily to evereone's taste -- waiting a week for a doctor appointment or months for major surgery might be a good trade-off for some but not the others. And the "free" part is not actually free -- you get taxed quite heavily for the privilege of having NHS. Again, there are enough people in US who would like to see it implemented and about as many who wouldn't -- you are, apparently, in the former category and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
  • That's likely mostly cultural indoctrination... You'd probably be arguing the opposite position if you'd happened to have been born elsewhere... Although it's a phenomenon which is especially strong in the States given that you're constantly being drilled that it's "the greatest nation" without anything to qualify the statement. You are completely right about the legislation that's currently at risk of being passed, but the idea that Europe is alone in having out of touch politicians that go against the best interest of their people is idiotic, let's not forget where the DMCA came from. I don't know... Maybe your comment would be easier to take seriously if you guys didn't currently have teens of thousands of government employees being forced to work without pay and facing starvation, homelessness and an inability to get medical treatment thanks to your terrible healthcare system... I'm sure there was a president with a silly beard and a tall hat who taught you guys it wasn't a good idea to make people work without pay.
  • Hyperbole much I mean dam
  • Indeed, I find it can be a good way to hammer home a point. Do you have a point of your own, or is "hyperbole much" all you have to add?
  • Nope fits this to a tea... And what you wrote
  • > I'm sure there was a president with a silly beard and a tall hat who taught you guys it wasn't a good idea to make people work without pay. More to the subject of the discussion -- his predecessors taught some European country that it is wrong to tax people without representation...
  • > That's likely mostly cultural indoctrination... You'd probably be arguing the opposite position if you'd happened to have been born elsewhere... It might be worth mentioning that, unlike Europe, *a lot of* people, presently living in the States, were born elsewhere. Some were born in the countries where they were "constantly being drilled that it [their place of birth] is the greatest nation"... Just sayin'
  • Yeah, I'm always amused by these comments from angry Americans who don't realise that there are more than twice as many people for Google to exploit as customers in Europe than in the US... And addition of Android per capita is MUCH higher too. I also find it very sad that they're that used to their government being wholly corporate owned that they think a company shouldn't be fined when they flagrantly flout the law.
  • And you dont think companies in the United States don't get fine for breaking laws?
  • That isn't what i think, but I do believe a lot of people think that's how it should be. Well also don't see people crying for Google to abandon the US market when it happens, and there does seem to be don't hypocrisy in the way that US versus foreignn ones.
  • I don't think Google should abandon the European market. I'm just saying I'm happy I don't live there. Yeah, every government is out of touch, but I would rather deal with the US one rather than the stuff that's going on in Europe. As for the shutdown, yeah it's pretty stupid. Our politicians aren't that bright either lol.
  • It was blatantly clear when they were developing the GDPR that Google was "Public Enemy No. 1"
  • 743 million people in Europe versus 328 million in USA, Google will comply with the law me thinks...
  • To continue with the math lesson, there are 1,38 billion people in China...
  • That's so ignorant. Europeans have less than 1/10th the average disposable income of Americans. Europe is becoming less and less significant every year.