France rules Google must publicly admit fault on French home page

Avatar By Billy Kirk | 7 years ago

Google and France have been having a bit of a tiff lately, and now it seems the search and advertising company will be forced to display a public mea culpa of sorts on their French home page.

Today the French data-protection authority Commission nationale de l’informatique et des libertés (CNIL) announced the Conseil d’Etat administrative court has upheld an original January decision finding Google guilty of violating data privacy laws in France. Aside from a tiny fine — which Google did not appeal — the original ruling dictated that the tech company must post a notice on its google.fr page that disclosed their data privacy violation to French users. Google immediately balked at this part of the ruling and filed the appeal, but today’s decision by the Conseil d’Etat upheld the ruling, finding the punishment suitable as Google failed to sufficiently explain to the French public how they handled and used users’ personal information.

“The company had requested the Conseil d’Etat (the French High Administrative Court) to suspend this publication order. In a ruling dated 7 February 2014, the judge rejected this request,” the CNIL said.

“Google must publish this communiqué for a period of 48 hours in accordance with the modalities set by the Sanctions Committee.”

While a two day span doesn’t seem to be terribly harsh, Google is nonetheless planning to continue to appeal the decision by the Conseil d’Etat, maintaining that their privacy policy is in place to provide the most effective services possible for users.