Last week’s headline news of a €50 million ($57 million) fine imposed on GOOGLE LLC confirms yet again that the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is not to be messed with.
The French data protection authority, CNIL, found that Google had violated GDPR rules by misleading users into “consenting” to allowing their personal information to be used for advertising purposes, when setting up new accounts. It remains to be seen whether the search giant’s appeal against the punitive fine, on January 25, is likely to hold water.
In other parts of the European Union, similar investigations are ongoing against Facebook and Instagram.
The case against Google demonstrates the increasingly prominent role that the EU intends to play in the policing the use of personal information by major companies and organizations online. It seems fair to say the U.S. is definitely lagging behind Europe on this front.