Google slammed for GDPR violation by the European Union

Google slammed for GDPR violation by the European Union

Horace C. White

Modern Tokyo Times

Google becomes the first victim of GDPR

On Friday, May 25, 2018, customers of tech-based companies received loads of email, notifying them that their service providers would be updating their Privacy Policy. Indeed, these companies were reacting to the deadline issued by the European Union (EU) for the implementation of a new data privacy law. Also called the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), the set of rules compels holders of EU residents’ data to allow users greater access and control over their personal information.

Relevance and penalty of the GDPR

Well, reports say that the EU enacted the law to protect the information of its residents in the wake of growing concerns of data misuse among holding companies. In a bid to show its commitment toward ending years of data misuse, the EU made it clear that defaulters would suffer severe consequences. According to the EU, behemoths that fail to comply with the provisions of the GDPR will pay a fine of $24 million or 4% of their annual revenue. To add insult to injury, the EU pointed out that the company would pay whichever was higher between the two penalties. Now, US tech Google is the first official prey of the GDPR.

Google snared in the crosshairs of the GDPR

Eight months after GDPR took effect, all affected companies but one seems to play safe. On Monday, France’s regulator made Google the first prey of the EU privacy rule. The National Commission on Informatics and Liberty (CNIL) disclosed that it would fine the tech giant approximately $57 million. Wired reported that Google wouldn’t have a challenge with paying the fine, given that its parent company, Alphabet Inc., declared $33.7 billion in its latest quarterly revenue. No doubt, this is not the first time the EU has fined Google. It would be recalled that the EU imposed a fine of $2.7 billion on the leading tech company for antitrust violations in 2017. Well, it is rather worrisome that Google was found wanting despite its earlier statement to abide by EU regulations.

Reason for fine

According to the CNIL, Google has to pay the fine because it refused to display the required information and consent for ad targeting. The France regulatory authority went ahead to justify the substantial fine imposed on Google, noting that the violations have far-reaching effects. Also, the watchdog pointed out that it had to take the action to sound a strong note of warning to other companies.

When the EU enacted the GDPR, Google didn’t respond to it instantly. Instead, Google later released a statement, saying that it was fully committed to its in-house implementation of the GDPR. Consequently, Google told publishers that they would be responsible for user consent collection as regards to ad targeting. The tech giant went further on to launch a consent collection tool for publishers called, Funding Choices, which is still in beta form.

Next Line of Action

Much as experts consider the fine a drop in the bucket compared to what Google carves away in revenue, the multibillion-dollar American company is going to challenge the decision. As a result, Google will appeal the fine. In a statement released Wednesday, Google spokesman maintained that the tech firm had earlier taken steps to create personalized ad promotion processes in compliance with the GDPR.  Whether or not Google will live up to this promise, after being slammed with a GDPR fine, will surely be determined by the EU.

Modern Tokyo News is part of the Modern Tokyo Times group

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