June 7, 2023

French regulators have hit Google and Facebook with 210 million euros in fines over their use of cookies, the data used to track users online.

The 150-million-euro fine imposed on Google was a record beating a previous cookie-related fine of 100 million euros against the company in December 2020. While facebook was handed a 60-million-euro fine.


The committee investigated the case following multiple complaints from French users established that Facebook and Google are:

  • Making the cookie refusal mechanisms unnecessarily complicated
  • Discouraging users from refusing cookies
  • Encouraging users to give their consent to personal data collection

An infringement of the freedom of consent of internet users, and as such, it violates Article 82 of the French Data Protection Act.

Facebook sent screenshots with a new interface for cookie management, claiming improvements in the mechanism that no longer favored acceptance. The committee found that refusing the cookies remained cumbersome and accepting them was still easier.

CNIL has determined that the sites facebook.com, google.fr and youtube.com do not allow users to refuse the use of cookies as simply as to accept them

The two platforms have three months to adapt their practices, after which France will impose fines of 100,000 euros per day.

In accordance with the expectations of internet users. we are committed to implementing new changes, as well as to working actively with CNIL in response to its decision.

Google Statement

Cookies are little packets of data that are set up on a user’s computer when they visit a website, allowing web browsers to save information about their session. They are highly valuable for Google and Facebook as ways to personalise advertising their primary source of revenue.

But privacy advocates have long pushed back and a European Union law passed in 2018 placed strict rules on internet companies, obliging them to seek the direct consent of users before installing cookies on their computers.

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