French watchdog slaps Google with $57 million fine under new EU law

In this file photo taken on September 2, 2015 The Google logo is displayed at the Google headquarters in Mountain View, California. (AFP)
Updated 22 January 2019

French watchdog slaps Google with $57 million fine under new EU law

  • Users have to take too many steps, “sometimes up to 5 or 6 actions,” to find out how and why their data is being used, the commission said

PARIS: France’s data privacy watchdog fined Google 50 million euros ($57 million) on Monday, the first penalty for a US tech giant under new European data privacy rules that took effect last year.
The National Data Protection Commission said it fined the US Internet giant for “lack of transparency, inadequate information and lack of valid consent” regarding ad personalization for users.
It’s one of the biggest regulatory enforcement actions since the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, came into force in May. The rules are aimed at clarifying individual rights to personal data collected by companies, which are required to use plain language to explain what they’re doing with it.
Even though many tech multinationals like Google are headquartered in the US, they still have to comply with the new rules because they have millions of users in Europe.
The commission said Google users were “not sufficiently informed” about what they were agreeing to as the company collected data for targeted advertisements.
Users have to take too many steps, “sometimes up to 5 or 6 actions,” to find out how and why their data is being used, the commission said. Google’s description of why it’s processing their data is “described in a too generic and vague manner,” it added.
The company’s infringements “deprive the users of essential guarantees regarding processing operations that can reveal important parts of their private life,” the commission said .
The commission acted on complaints by two data protection advocacy groups, NOYB.EU and La Quadrature du Net, filed immediately after GDPR took effect.
Google said in a statement it is “deeply committed” to transparency and user control as well as GDPR consent requirements.
“We’re studying the decision to determine our next steps,” it said.


REVIEW: Second season of Sacred Games mirrors the ills of today's India

Updated 17 August 2019

REVIEW: Second season of Sacred Games mirrors the ills of today's India

CHENNAI: The first season of “Sacred Games” last year was a hit, and the second edition, which began streaming on Netflix on Aug. 15, may be even more so.

The eight episodes explore some of India's most pressing current issues such as a nuclear threat, terrorism and inter-religious animosity dating back to the country's 1947 partition. It. It also addresses how religious men can indulge in the most unholy of acts, including helping corrupt politicians.

Some of the greatest films have had conflict and war as their backdrop: “Gone with the Wind,” “Casablanca,” “Ben-Hur” and “Garam Hawa,” to mention a few. The second season of “Sacred Games” also unfolds in such a scenario, with terrorism and inter-communal disharmony having a rippling effect on the nation.

Directed by Anurag Kashyap (“Gangs of Wasseypur,” “Black Friday”) and Neeraj Ghaywan (“Masaan,” which premiered at Cannes in 2015), the web series, based on Vikram Chandra's 2006 novel, unfolds with Ganesh Gaitonde (played by Nawazuddin Siddiqui) escaping from prison and finding himself in Mombasa. He has been carted there by an agent of India's

Research and Analysis Wing, Kusum Devi Yadav (Amruta Subhash), who forces him to help find Shahid Khan (Ranvir Shorey), the mastermind behind bomb blasts and terror attacks.

In Mumbai, police inspector Sartaj (Saif Ali Khan) has just two weeks to save the city from a nuclear attack, which Gaitonde had warned him about. Both men love Mumbai and do not want it to be destroyed. But religious extremist Khanna Guruji (Pankaj Tripathi) and his chief disciple Batya Ableman (Kalki Koechlin) believe that only such a catastrophic destruction can help cleanse society and bring a cleaner, saner new order.

A narrative of deceit, betrayal, love and longing, the second season has a plodding start, but picks up steam from the fourth episode, with Sartaj and his men racing against time to find a nuclear time bomb that could wipe out Mumbai. Crude dialogue and a constant doomsday atmosphere could have been avoided, but riveting performances by the lead pair – Khan and Siddiqui (though he is getting typecast in this kind of role) – and nail-biting thrills make this Netflix original dramatically captivating.