Google fails to overturn ruling requiring it to publicize its data law breach

Google has been ordered to post a statement on its French homepage that its privacy policy did not comply with French law. 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.

Google has failed in its attempt to overturn a ruling requiring it to publicise being fined for breaches of the French data protection act. Earlier this year, the company was fined €150,000 by France’s data protection watchdog, CNIL, after it failed to address the regulator’s concerns that its unified privacy policy was breaking French data protection law. The unified policy, which consolidated more than 60 separate privacy documents, came into force in March 2012 despite concern from European regulators that it violated the European Directive on Data Protection. Alongside the fine, CNIL also ruled that Google had to display a notice about the €150,000 ruling, and a link to CNIL’s statement on the case, on its homepage for at least 48 hours.

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