France’s data privacy watchdog has handed out its biggest ever fine of 100 million euros ($121 million) to Alphabet’s Google for breaching the country’s rules on online cookies. Additionally, Amazon was fined 35 million euros for breaching the country’s rules on advertising trackers.
Although these fines don’t even amount to pocket change for these corporations, it’s important nonetheless to try and steer big tech towards being more protective of user data. Since a lot of their revenue originates from advertisers, they are always going to be incentivised to favour their clients and offer them detailed user data wherever possible – but regulators need to maintain a balance here and prioritise user privacy.
It would be good to see more proactive steps being taken, rather than retrospective fines.
Users need to be proactive as well – instead of mindlessly clicking through cookie warnings, there is often value in taking some extra time to select the minimum required cookies for a functional experience.