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France fines Google over data privacy

Paris - The French privacy regulatory organization CNIL Wednesday slapped Google with the largest fine ever in its history - a R2.2 million (150 000 euro) penalty for failing to change how it deals with user information.

In addition, Google was ordered to post the CNIL decision for 48 hours on its French home page. CNIL said it has repeatedly asked Google to change the user rules in its system to bring about more transparency and choices for users.

A Google spokesperson in California said it would read the CNIL report “closely to determine next steps.”

“We've engaged fully with the CNIL throughout this process to explain our privacy policy and how it allows us to create simpler, more effective services,” the spokesperson said.

In many other European countries, including Germany, Google has run into trouble with new rules introduced in 2012. Regulatory agencies charge that Google oversteps the rules by collecting user data from various services - such as the video platform YouTube or the mail service Gmail.

Google has insisted all along that its data protection system respects European law.

Sapa-dpa

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