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France fines Google over data protection

media A screenshot of Google's statement

Internet giant Google has been forced to display a message on the homepage of its French website saying it has been fined for not meeting France's data protection standards.

The 150,000-euro fine was imposed in January by the Cnil, France's regulatory body for freedom of information and privacy.

Google's conflicts with the French regulator go back to March 2012 when the site updated its end-user licence agreement to merge several pieces of user data into one profile.

The Cnil argued that Google did not inform users how their personal information was being affected.

Google's appeal against the sanction was thrown out on Friday by France's State Council and the search engine was forced to display the message for 48 hours.

The punishment is more harmful to Google's reputation than to its finances, Jérémie Zimmermann the co-founder of online citizens' advocacy group La Quadrature du Net told RFI.

France's data protection laws were part of the basis for European laws adopted in the mid-2000s.

Regulators in the Netherlands and Spain came to similar conclusions about Google's policy late last year.

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