Close this search box.

Google issued with first major GDPR fine

Table of Contents

Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Spotify, and YouTube also face scrutiny.

The French data regulator, CNIL, has sanctioned Google with a £44m GDPR fine for breaches of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Google’s fine, the largest issued since GDPR was made effective on 25 May 2018, follows complaints issued by data privacy rights groups noyb and La Quadrature du Net (LQDN) regarding Google’s legal basis for processing user data for personalised ads.

Reasons for the GDPR fine

CNIL cited two major reasons for non-compliance:

  • Failure to obtain a valid legal basis to process new European Android users’ data without the data subjects’ consent; and
  • A lack of transparency over data processing permissions relating to personalised ads, with essential information scattered amongst multiple documents.

Google was found to have contravened these requirements by checking the consent box by default, and for failing to clarify that the consent agreed to when a user creates a new account on their smartphone also relates to Google’s other services, including YouTube.

Ahead of GDPR, Google declared changes through its AdWords blog:

“To comply, we will be updating our EU consent policy when the GDPR takes effect and the revised policy will require that publishers take extra steps in obtaining consent from their users.”

However, this move was criticised for perceivably outsourcing compliance to publishers, and CNIL found Google’s measures insufficient in meeting their responsibility to protect European data subjects.

GDPR mandates that data consent must be clearly communicated to the data subject, with the responsibility falling primarily on the data controller.

Click here to find out more about protecting your clients’ data and avoiding a GDPR fine for your company.

What happens next?

Google has since responded to the sanctions, stating that it is “studying the decision to determine our next steps”.

Whilst minimal in comparison to Google’s 2018 £93.6bn turnover, CNIL’s judgement is a defining moment for global compliance, demonstrating that by pursuing a leading Silicon Valley organisation, the EU will enforce GDPR stringently.

And with decisions forthcoming regarding YouTube, Gmail, and Google Search’s personal data processing policies, scrutiny remains over Google’s compliance practices.


To ensure your business data and policies are easily accessible for both your staff and clients, speak to us about a Cloud-based ERP solution.

Want to keep up with our blog?

Get our most valuable tips right inside your inbox, once per month!

Latest IT News & Insights
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central Main Product Mockup Showcase ERP
Why Business Central enhances and streamlines solutions
See how Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central enhances business solutions and streamlines the processes...
Read More
Neuways artificial intelligence
Artificial Intelligence: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
AI is the Marmite of the IT world. Love it or hate it, the reality is it filters into our everyday lives...
Read More
Choose Neuways for your IT Support, Cyber Security and Business Central needs.
Cyber Security Acronyms Part 1: Neuways
We are helping clients to understand cyber security. We're making it easy for you, as we are jargon busting...
Read More
Password Manager and Security with neuways
Password Managers just became an even more important tool for Employees
The Government has brought in a ban on employees and manufacturers using default passwords.
Read More
Dark Web monitoring
What is the Dark Web?
Dark Web Monitoring identifies whether any of your company data (including login credentials and confidential...
Read More
Password Manager and Security with neuways
Password Security
Business Password Manager Tool Protect your remote workforce with Password Manager Tool, the business...
Read More
WatchGuard WiFi Security
WatchGuard User Services Platform – Simple, Secure and Intelligent WiFi
Why do Neuways partner with WatchGuard? Find out below to see how we improve the cyber security of your...
Read More
Endpoint Security
Endpoint Security
Protect your business with the best in Endpoint Security – How Neuways can help you Protect Your...
Read More

Frequently Asked Questions

Managed IT support is a comprehensive solution where an expert IT provider, like Neuways, handles your technology infrastructure. This includes proactive monitoring, maintenance, cyber security, and support.

Contact us

Support: 01283 753300

Business Development: 01283 753333

Purchasing: 01283 753322

Admin and Accounts: 01283 753311


Yes we do. Your business needs Cyber Security due to the increasing number of cyber threats that are affecting businesses in all industries. If your business has data and technology systems implemented, you will need Managed Cyber Security.

Yes we can. We have our own dedicated Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central teams who work to ensure that we can implement the right systems and solutions into your website that are absolute right for you. 

Got a question?

Reach out
& Connect

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.