French regulator to impose sanctions on Google over data protection

French data protection watchdog the Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés (CNIL) has warned Google that it will be imposing sanctions on the firm, following a dispute surrounding Google’s privacy policy.

The formal enforcement notice issued in June followed an analysis by European data protection authorities of Google’s new privacy policy, which it implemented on March 1, 2012.

The CNIL had ordered Google to define retention periods for the personal data processed; define specified and explicit purposes; inform users with regard to the purposes of the processing implemented; not proceed, without legal basis, with the potentially unlimited combination of users’ data; fairly collect and process passive users’ data; and inform users and then obtain their consent in particular before storing cookies in their terminal.

The CNIL said that on June 20, 2013 it had ordered Google to comply with French data protection law within three months. On the last day of this period, Google responded to the CNIL by contesting the reasoning of the requests and that it has not complied with them.

The Chair of the CNIL will now designate a rapporteur, a person appointed by the CNIL to report on the proceedings of its meetings, for the purpose of initiating a formal procedure for imposing sanctions, according to the provisions laid down in the French data protection law.

In June this year, Sweden’s Data Inspectorate asked the municipality of Salem to either review and change its contract with Google, or to stop using the company’s Google Apps cloud services, over fears the web giant has too much access to personal data.

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