Google has been fined 50 million euros (about $57 million) by a French regulator for not properly disclosing to users how their data is collected and used for targeted advertising.
The penalty is the biggest yet imposed under a new European privacy law that went into effect in 2018. The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation gives Europeans more control over their information and how companies use it.
France’s National Data Protection Commission said on Monday that it imposed the fine after determining Google hadn’t met its obligation for transparency by making information about its data collection easily accessible to users. The commission found that Google didn’t present information about data-processing purposes and data-storage periods in the same place, sometimes requiring users to make five or six clicks to obtain the information.
The General Data Protection Regulation may not be perfect, but it’s already been a boon for users around the globe, including those outside Europe. Companies like Google will never care about user privacy on their own because their business model is monetizing people’s personal information. That’s why it is so important that laws like the GDPR exist… and that they be vigorously enforced.