France: Google and Facebook fined millions for cookies

France's data protection authority has fined Google and Facebook millions. On their sites, users could not have rejected cookies as easily as they could have accepted them, according to the Cnil's statement of reasons published on Thursday.

Millionenstrafe für Google und Facebook wegen CookiesTwo Google subsidiaries are therefore to pay a combined fine of 150 million euros. For Facebook, it's 60 million euros.

Cookies are small data sets that are stored on the device when you visit a website. This makes many things easier, but personal information can also be transparent and transmitted to advertisers.

The Cnil complained that on the Google.fr, Facebook.com and Youtube.com pages, cookies could be accepted with just one click, but several clicks were necessary to reject them. This impaired the freedom of consent and violated French law.

The platform operators would now have three months to adjust their handling in France. For each day of delay, 100,000 euros would be due.

A spokeswoman for Facebook's parent company Meta said they are looking at the authority's decision. The company's own cookie settings give people more control over their data. The company will continue to develop and improve these settings. Google said it was aware of its responsibility to people's trust and was committed to further changes. (SDA)

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