Google Forced To Post Mea Culpa On Its French Site

Google has posted a privacy notice in accordance with a decision from French privacy authority CNIL.

Google Forced To Post Mea Culpa On Its French Site

Google complied with a French authority's decision and posted a privacy violation notice to its French homepage Saturday.

The posting is one of the sanctions placed on Google after it violated French privacy law with its umbrella-style unified privacy policy. French privacy watchdog CNIL also levied a 150,000-euro fine against the search company. (Via The Verge)

That comes out to a little more than $200,000 — safe to say it's a drop in the bucket for Google, which cleared more than $3 billion in net profit last quarter.

Indeed, reports suggest Google was more concerned about having to post a message to its homepage than pay up.

The Wall Street Journal quotes a lawyer for Google, which attempted to appeal the CNIL's decision last week. "This is something we've never seen before. Google has always maintained that page in a virgin state."

CNIL specified Google had to keep the post up for 48 consecutive hours, and adhere to very specific requirements concerning its content — no less than 13 point Arial font, an exact shade of red for the word communique, all in a box centered below Google's iconic search box and buttons.

And it would appear people are reading it — Softpedia reports the CNIL page it links to, which explains the reasons for the message and the fine, was briefly knocked offline — presumably from high traffic.

Still, Google's message is downright clean compared to the fallout from a 2006 case in Belgium, in which Google had to post an entire ruling against it for five days. (Via Marketing Land)

Google has announced it intends to appeal the decision to France's supreme court.