SHARE
COPY LINK

INTERNET

French court orders Google to remove ‘abusive’ clauses

A French court has ordered Google to remove "abusive" clauses from the service conditions it requires consumers to accept to the internet giant's services, a consumer group said on Wednesday.

French court orders Google to remove 'abusive' clauses
Photo: AFP

The group UFC-Que Choisir, which has waged a five-year legal battle against Google for “abusive” practices in its service conditions, also won 30,000 euros ($34,000) in damages, according to a copy of the ruling obtained by AFP.

The ruling by the Paris district level court can be appealed.

Google said the ruling concerned its Google+ social media service, which is being shut down in April, and that it is striving to improve the clarity and simplicity of its user terms.

It said it would take its time to examine the decision and evaluate its options.

UFC-Que Choisir said the judges ordered Google to rework its terms and conditions to obtain clear consent from users on how it collects and shares their personal information. This includes the constant monitoring of users' location.

The ruling also told Google it could not imply that users had to accept the conditions to use its services and systematically decline all responsibility in case of malfunctions.

The ruling follows one in a similar case brought by UFC-Que Choisir against Twitter. A case against Facebook is still underway.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

TECHNOLOGY

French watchdog fines Google and Amazon subsidiary €135m for unauthorised cookies

France's CNIL data privacy watchdog said on Thursday it had fined two Google units a total of €100 million and an Amazon subsidiary €35 million over advertising cookies.

French watchdog fines Google and Amazon subsidiary €135m for unauthorised cookies
Photo: AFP

The regulator said the fines were “for having placed advertising cookies on the computers of users … without obtaining prior consent and without providing adequate information.”

A cookie is a small piece of data stored on a user's computer browser that allows websites to identify users and remember their previous activity.

The CNIL said when a user visited the website google.fr, several cookies used for advertising purposes were automatically placed on his or her computer, without any action required on the user's part.

It said a similar thing happened when visiting one page on the amazon.fr website.

CNIL said this type of cookie “can only be placed after the user has expressed his or her consent” and thus violated regulations on receiving prior consent.

It faulted Google for providing insufficient privacy information for users as it did not let them know about the cookies which had been placed and that the procedure to block them still left one operational.

CNIL also said Amazon had not provided clear or complete information about the cookies it placed on computers of users until a redesign in September 2020.

Google also stopped placing cookies on the computers of users without consent in September, CNIL said, but added it still does not provide a sufficient explanation for their use.

The regulator said “no matter what path the users used to visit the website, they were either insufficiently informed or never informed of the fact that cookies were placed on their computer.”

The €35 million fine is on the Amazon Europe Core subsidiary.

CNIL imposed fines of €60 million on Google LLC and €40 million on Google Ireland Limited.

SHOW COMMENTS