Google fined $79m for breaching GDPR law

Lindsay Bennett
By Lindsay Bennett | 22 January 2019

French data privacy watchdog CNIL has fined Google €50 million (AU$79 million), making it the first penalty to face a tech giant under new GDPR laws introduced last year.

CNIL said it fined Google for failing to provide users with transparent and understandable information on its data use policies.

The commission said users were "not sufficiently informed" about what they were agreeing to and there was a "lack of transparency, inadequate information and lack of valid consent" regarding ad personalisation for users.

It's the biggest regulatory enforcement action since the European GDPR came into force in May last year, with some of the regulations tipped to also roll out in Australia this year.

Google said in a statement it's "deeply committed" to transparency and user control, as well GDPR consent requirements. The company said it's deciding its next steps.

While a significantly smaller fine, it's the second time in recent months that the European government has cracked down on Google, issuing a landmark $6.8bn fine in 2018 for abusing its dominant Android mobile operating system.

The issues surrounding Google overseas will be considered in the ongoing ACCC investigation into Facebook and Google's impact on Australia's advertising sector.

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