Facebook and Google fined by France over cookie opt-out breaches

A flag of France waving in the wind

France’s Commission nationale de l’informatique et des libertés (CNIL) has announced that it’s fining Google and Facebook €150 million and €60 million respectively for making it difficult to refuse cookies. The CNIL looked at facebook.com, google.fr, and youtube.com and found that it was easy to accept cookies but refusing them took several clicks.

With the two companies hiding the ability to reject cookies, the CNIL said this affected consumers’ freedom to consent to cookies. The companies are in breach of Article 82 of the French Data Protection Act, according to the regulator.

To remedy the situation, Facebook and Google will have to give French users the ability to reject cookies as easily as it allows them to accept cookies. They have three months to bring in this ability otherwise they will be fined €100,000 per day until they comply with the demand. CNIL said that it had conducted an investigation into these three websites following ‘many complaints’ from people.

Cookies perform many several jobs on the web, they allow you to remain logged into websites even after leaving the site, they save website preferences, and they also allow advertisers to follow users around the web to show them more relevant advertisements.

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