Technology

French Courts Force Google to Air Indiscretion on Homepage

French Courts Force Google to Air Indiscretion on Homepage
Image credit: Google France
Entrepreneur Staff
Staff Writer. Covers leadership, media, technology and culture.
2 min read

Google users in France might have noticed something a bit different about the search engine's homepage this weekend. 

Last month, France's Commission Nationale de l'Informatique et des Libertés (CNIL), the country's data and privacy protection watchdog, fined Google $200,000 (150,000 euros), maintaining that the company's privacy policy violated French privacy laws and did not provide sufficient information about how user data was collected.

Related: Obama Changes Rules for NSA Data Collection

In addition to the fine, which is the maximum amount that can be incurred, Google was forced  to post a notice to its French homepage that alerted visitors to the ruling and fine for 48 hours following a failed appeal before French courts (Conseil d'Etat) on Friday.

The notice was required to be written in 13-point Arial font and located directly beneath the search bar, with a link to CNIL's decision. The statement read: "Press release: the CNIL has fined Google €150,000 for violating the law on 'information and freedoms.' The decision can be accessed at the following web address: http://www.cnil.fr/linstitution/missions/sanctionner/Google/." The only problem there was that the traffic from the link led CNIL's servers to crash for some of the weekend.   

Related: Congress to Google: Glass Privacy Issues Must Be Taken Seriously

While the company plans to continue to appeal, CNIL's decision was originally made in response to changes made to Google's privacy policy in March 2012, when the company combined its 60 services (including YouTube, Gmail and Google Maps) under a universal privacy policy. Meaning that once logged into any Google account, customers are unable to opt out. 

France is not the only one that has a bone to pick where Google is concerned. The company has already faced fines from Spanish and Dutch privacy authorities and Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom are carrying out similar investigations. 

Related: Internet Activists Plan Day of Action to Protest Mass Surveillance

More from Entrepreneur

Grow Your Business at Entrepreneur LIVE! Join us on Nov. 16 in Brooklyn, NY, to learn from legends like Danica Patrick and Maria Sharapova, pitch our editors, meet with investors, and potentially walk away with funding!
Register here

One-on-one online sessions with our experts can help you start a business, grow your business, build your brand, fundraise and more.
Book Your Session

Whether you are launching or growing a business, we have all the business tools you need to take your business to the next level, in one place.
Enroll Now

Latest on Entrepreneur

My Queue

There are no Videos in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any video to save to your queue.

There are no Articles in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any article to save to your queue.

There are no Podcasts in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any podcast episode to save to your queue.

You're not following any authors.

Click the Follow button on any author page to keep up with the latest content from your favorite authors.