France requires Google and Facebook to simplify rejecting cookies with EUR 210m fine

US internet giants Google and Meta (Facebook) have been required by the French internet rights’ agency to pay fines totalling 210 million euros for making it difficult for their users to reject cookies. It also required the companies to improve their cookie controls or face more fines, British news portal The Guardian reports.
The French National Commission of Information Technologies and Freedoms stated on Thursday, January 6, it had fined Google a record 150 million euros for making it difficult for internet users to refuse cookies – small text files that build up a profile of a person’s web activity for commercial purposes. It fined Facebook 60 million euros for the same reason.
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«When you accept cookies, it’s done in just one click,» said Karin Kiefer, CNIL’s head of data protection and sanctions. «Rejecting cookies should be as easy as accepting them.»
The watchdog said the, and websites did not allow the easy refusal of cookies. The data privacy watchdog gave the companies three months to comply with its orders, including making it easier for French users to decline cookies, or face extra penalty payments of 100,000 euros for every day of delay.
Both Google and Meta signalled taking the decision seriously and being committed to continue to improve their cookie controls for users, The Guardian reports.