France fines Google over data privacy

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US search engine ignored three-month ultimatum from French privacy watchdog to bring practices on user information in line with local law.

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France's data protection watchdog has fined Google 150,000 euros after the U.S. search engine ignored a three-month ultimatum to bring its practices on tracking and storing user information in line with local law, reports Reuters.

The privacy watchdog, known as CNIL, has also ordered Google to post the decision on its google.fr homepage for 48 hours within eight days of being officially notified of the ruling.

At issue was the new approach to user data that Google began in March 2012, in which it consolidated its 60 privacy policies into one and started combining data collected on individual users across its services, including YouTube, Gmail and social network Google+.

It gave users no means to opt out.

"The company does not sufficiently inform its users of the conditions in which their personal data are processed, nor of the purposes of this processing," CNIL said in a statement.

A Google France spokesman told Reuters the company will take note of this decision and consider further action.

Read more of this report from Reuters.

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