Tech

France sanctions Google and Facebook for cookies

Regulations regarding the use of cookies have evolved continuously since the popularization of the Internet, seeking an increasingly guaranteeing framework regarding the privacy of users. And I know it is true that, in the absence of these legal regulations, the amount of information that can be accumulated in them can be really excessive, and the lack of control puts users in a situation of great defenselessness.

Although they exist alternative means to compromise user privacy, as the digital footprint that is already also on the agenda of legislators and regulators, today cookies are the medium that is most subject to public scrutiny, and against which a more complete legal framework has already been articulated, that allows to give a forceful legal answer against the webs that do not comply with the regulations.

The last case of this can be found in France, and that is that the CNIL (Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés) today ordered Google and Facebook to make rejecting cookies as simple as accepting them and, for not having offered this possibility until now, they have fined said companies with a total of 210 million euros for breaching the Data Protection Law of the French country.

The process that makes it more difficult to reject cookies than to accept them «aIt affects the freedom of consent of Internet users and constitutes an infringement of article 82 of the French data protection law«, Affirms the CNIL in its communiqué. The agency announced fines of 150 million euros for Google (YouTube is also among the sanctioned services) and 60 million euros for Meta By facebook.

Additionally, the French regulator has required both companies to modify the options related to cookies so that the existing asymmetry between accepting or rejecting cookies disappears. To carry out this modification, the companies are granted within three months, after which the companies will have to pay a penalty of 100,000 euros per day of delay.

Regarding the amount of the fines, the agency indicates that it calculated each fine based on «the number of users affected and the considerable benefits that companies obtain from the advertising revenue generated indirectly by the data collected by the cookies«. But the sanctions won’t make much of a dent in the revenue of either company. Alphabet, which owns Google, reported $ 65.1 billion in revenue and $ 18.9 billion in net profit in its latest quarter, while Meta reported $ 29 billion in revenue and $ 9.2 billion in net profit.

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