Court Tells Google It Must Admit Privacy Penalty On Google France Home Page

google-privacy-200Following the imposition of a fine by the French National Commission for Computing and Civil Liberties (CNIL) for violating consumer privacy, Google was ordered to post a statement on its French homepage that its privacy policy did not comply with French law:

The Sanctions Committee ordered Google Inc. to publish a communiqué on this decision on the website, during 48 hours, within eight days as of the notification of the decision. This publicity measure is justified by the extent of Google’s data collection, as well as by the necessity to inform the persons concerned who are not in a capacity to exercise their rights.

Yesterday we wrote that Google had asked a French court to suspend this notification requirement while it appeals the CNIL decision and fine. Google told the court that the notice “would cause irreparable damage to Google’s reputation.”

This morning France’s top administrative court decided against Google and ordered the company to comply with the notification requirement. According to Reuters, “the Conseil d’Etat ruled that there was not enough urgency nor proof of damage to Google’s reputation to warrant such a suspension.”

Google will continue with its overall appeal of the CNIL fine but it will be forced to post a statement that its privacy policy did not comply with French regulations and law. My suspicion is that it will go up this weekend. It must happen within eight days regardless.

Google has reportedly said it will comply while it continues with its appeal. It will be interesting to see whether there’s any reaction to the notification in France and whether Google’s reputation is harmed in fact.

Postscript: This is now live. See our follow-up story, Google France Home Page Now Carries Privacy Violation Notice, As Ordered.

Related Topics: Channel: Industry | Google: Critics | Google: International | Google: Legal | Google: Privacy | Legal: Privacy


About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

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  • David Iwanow

    I guess Google could bury the specific page result so it doesn’t rank in Google but the question is would they be that dumb?

  • Nyagoslav Zhekov

    The communiqué is already on

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