First significant GDPR fine hits Google (£44m)

Digital Compliance News and Blog

Share This Post

Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter
Share on email

The French data regulator, CNIL, (the French equivalent of the UK’s ICO) has fined Google €50m, a record when it comes to data protection fines.

The fine follows an investigation after a complaint from privacy rights groups noyb and La Quadrature du Net in May last year about the way consent is collected by Google, for its ad personalisation services.

CNIL said that it is fining Google for its “lack of transparency, inadequate information and lack of valid consent regarding ads personalisation”, saying that users were “not sufficiently informed”.

The case against Google relates to a number of issues with the lawful collection (or apparent lack) of consent:

  • the fact that the whole process of giving consent was complicated and spread across various documents, where the GDPR requires “the request for consent shall be presented in a manner which is clearly distinguishable from the other matters, in an intelligible and easily accessible form, using clear and plain language.
  • the use of pre-ticked boxes, where the GDPR requires consent to be “freely given” with a positive action to opt-in and give that consent
  • consent was being collected for all processing activities and was not granular enough; for consent to be lawful the GDPR requires that “When the processing has multiple purposes, consent should be given for all of them.”

Google are currently considering the next steps.

In other news, noyb has also raised a complaint against streaming services such as Apple, Spotify, Netflix, Google, etc. for right of access infringements.


If you need help with your own consent processes, a Hub subscription can help – get in touch if you’d like to know more about how the Digital Compliance Hub can help support your business with its GDPR compliance and make sure you have all the right consent processes in place.

More To Explore

Eat. Sleep. GDPR. Repeat.

We live and breathe GDPR and ePrivacy compliance, so you don’t have too. Our GDPR UNLIMITED helpline is all about offering you help and support, whenever you need it most. As well as the unlimited helpline, you get up to 4 hours “hands-on” help each month, which we can configure to help you in anyway you need such as a GDPR review, or acting as your DPO.

As well as the unlimited helpline and hands-on help you get GDPR and privacy updates, access to our GDPR knowledge centre and webinars.

Unlimited email & phone support

Unlimited email and phone support. Email or organise a voice call as often as you need each month.​

Up to 4 hours "hands-on" help per month

We use these "hands-on" hours to do the GDPR work for you, such as reviews, acting as your DPO, checking DPIA, dealing with breaches, training your staff, etc. (Additional hours: £100+VAT per hour)

Online resources

Our Knowledge Centre gives you access to information, guidance, topic related guides and other tools to support your GDPR and PECR compliance

Updates, alerts & briefings

We provide updates and alerts and a monthly compliance briefing. You can either sign into the Knowledge Centre or sign up via email to receive an email every time we add a new update or alert

DPO services

Whether mandated or not we can act as your Data Protection Officer (DPO) and manage your day to day compliance

Webinars, workshops & training

Whether updates on the latest issue, workshops or team training, it's all included in your monthly retainer.

LIKE WHAT YOU'RE READING? join our email list

Sign up for monthly briefings and the occasional emails about our webinars and services

Want to know more about how we use your data? Check out our privacy policy