The most expensive cookie: Google and Facebook fined for 210 million euro

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The French privacy authority CNIL on Thursday fined Google and Facebook 150 million and 60 million euros respectively.

The tech companies get the fines because they do not allow European users to easily refuse cookies. Facebook’s fine only concerns the Irish Department of the platform, where its headquarters are located.

Cookies are small files that can be stored on the device. They come in different forms. Some are needed to run a website, for example to keep the visitor logged in. Others are used to track visitors online.

CNIL has found that the websites of Facebook, Google and YouTube do have a button to accept cookies immediately, but there is no button to refuse them just as easily.

The privacy authority requires the tech companies to adjust their cookie policy in the next three months. If they do not do so on time, a penalty payment of 100,000 euros per day will follow. Google and Facebook have not yet responded to the fines.

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