Economy & Politics

Fines rain on Amazon and Google

The French data protection authority questions the use of cookies on the websites of both companies.

The French data protection authority questions the use of cookies on the websites of both companies.

(Bloomberg) – Google has been stepping up sanctions lately. After a record sanction imposed by the European Union, the French data protection agency is now penalizing the web giant: 100 million euros in penalties for the way the company manages cookies on its search engine .


ILLUSTRATION - Ein junger Mann lässt sich eine Seite der Videostreaming-Firma Netflix am 14.09.2014 in Berlin von einem Laptop auf einem Fernsehbildschirm zeigen. Die in den USA populäre Online-Videothek Netflix geht im September auch in Deutschland auf Sendung. Netflix hat mit seinem Videostreaming-Abo den Fernsehmarkt in den USA aufgemischt und kommt dort mittlerweile auf 35,1 Millionen zahlende Kunden. Bestehende Konkurrenten in Deutschland sind Amazon, Maxdome oder Watchever. Foto: Bernd von Jutrczenka / dpa +++ (c) dpa - Bildfunk +++ |

On November 1, the LU-CIX network experienced an unprecedented peak in terms of internet data volume. In question, the immoderate taste of residents for streaming every last day of the week.


The National Commission for Data Protection and Freedom (CNIL) also imposed a fine of 35 million euros to the online shopping giant Amazon.com to have placed cookies (tracking devices) on users’ computers without their consent. The two companies have been given a three-month ultimatum to change the information they capture about their users, at the risk of exposing themselves to daily fines additional from 100,000 € / day .

The sanction imposed on Google is twice as high as the highest sanction of the CNIL to date. It was then Alphabet Inc that had paid the price for its breaches of computer rules. The company is also under close scrutiny by the European Commission, which has fined more than € 8.2 billion in three antitrust cases.

“We fully comply with the law”

Amazon, however, said it did not agree with the conclusions of the French authority. “We continually update our privacy practices to ensure that we meet the evolving needs and expectations of customers and regulators, and that we are in full compliance with all applicable laws in each country in which we operate,” the company said.

For its part, the CNIL indicated that its research had shown that due to a series of changes made by Google since September, cookies targeting users for advertising purposes are no longer automatically placed on users’ computers when they visit google.fr. Google does not provide enough information about reasons and how cookies are used, depending on the authority.


(FILES) In this file photo taken on January 22, 2019 a technician passes by a logo of US internet search giant Google during the opening day of a new Berlin office of Google in Berlin. - Google parent Alphabet reported a rare drop in revenue and profit on July 30, 2020, in a quarterly update that nonetheless topped market expectations. (Photo by Tobias SCHWARZ / AFP)

The European Commission announced Tuesday to look into the possible sale of the specialist in connected objects for physical activities. The fear is that the American giant’s position in the online advertising market will be strengthened.


For visitors to the French Amazon site, clicking on an advertisement results in immediate use of cookies without the Internet user having been kept informed.

The powers of EU data protection authorities have increased significantly since the entry into force of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in May 2018. For the first time, the law allows regulators to impose fines up to 4% of global annual sales of a company.


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