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Google France alerts users to its privacy problem

Link to the CNIL has an overwhelming response
Mon Feb 10 2014, 15:52
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THE FRENCH ARM of internet services and advertising firm Google has lived up to its commitments and posted information about a privacy ruling.

The firm was blasted by the French data protection authority CNIL over changes to its privacy policy, was ruled against and fined, and appealed some parts of its punishment.

This weekend, following an appeal on Friday it posted a statement, putting it and a link in the space beneath the search box on

"Press release: the CNIL has fined Google €150,000 for violating the law on 'information and freedoms'," said the notice. "The decision can be accessed at the following web address," it added, showing a link.

This message was to be online for a 48 hour period, according to the CNIL. However, the Guardian reported that interest was so high that the traffic crashed the CNIL website.

Google has not responded to our request for comment on its post, but has often told us that it works hard to accommodate the CNIL and its equivalents in other countries.

"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," it told us in January.

According to the CNIL, Google did not want to make the announcement so publicly and asked the court to let it drop the requirement. On Friday a state council judge saw differently, saying that the notice was unlikely to do much damage to the Google brand.

The €150,000 fine was the highest that the CNIL could impose. µ


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