The CNIL makes Bing on Microsoft and imposes a 60 million euro fine on it

For not having implemented a means of refusing cookies on its Bing search engine, Microsoft is fined 60 million euros by the CNIL.

The verdict of the CNIL has just fallen: the “Commission Nationale Informatique & Liberté” which protects the digital rights of French citizens failed on December 22 a nice fine against Microsoft. Or more precisely to Microsoft Ireland which manages the really doomed service, namely the Bing search engine. The offense ? A deposit of cookies by users impossible to refuse.

Read also : Cookies: the CNIL continues to hunt down illegal publishers (June 2021)

In the commission’s radar following a complaint, the CNIL explains that it “CNIL carried out several checks on the website in September 2020 and May 2021.” And bad luck for Microsoft, the CNIL ” found that when a user went to this site, cookies were placed on his terminal without his party’s consent while they were pursuing, in particular, an advertising objective. She also noticed the absence of a button allowing to refuse the deposit of cookies as easily as to accept it. »

Everything is said: depositing an advertising cookie without consent and without the possibility of refusing it constitutes an offense with regard to the transposition of the General Regulations on Data Protection (RGPD) into French law through article 82 of the Data Protection Act and Freedoms.

Read also:Google fined 50 million euros by the Cnil (Jan. 2019)

And the CNIL also penalizes the fact that the Bing teams have made it more difficult to refuse cookies than to accept them. ” If the search engine offered a button to immediately accept cookies, it did not offer an equivalent solution (refuse button or other) to allow the user to refuse them so easily. Two clicks were necessary to refuse all cookies, only one to accept them “. Here, we see that if companies try to circumvent the limitations by design, the cerberus of French individual data is not fooled. If a mechanism is put in place, it must be equivalent in complexity in one direction, as in the other.

60 million fine for Microsoft… Ireland!

Although the European headquarters of Microsoft is in France (in Issy-les-Moulineaux to be precise), it is yet another entity which is condemned, namely Microsoft Ireland Operations Limited. Because it is this subsidiary – for tax reasons as you doubt – which is responsible in Europe for the management of the Bing search engine.

A subsidiary sentenced to 60 million euros despite the implementation of a global “Refuse all” button for cookies set up on March 29. And the firm now has three months to set up a clearer consent system for depositing cookies. Beyond this period, she will be liable to a penalty payment of 60,000 euros per day of delay.

If the sum of 60 million is high, it must be kept in mind that the business of advertising cookies is very profitable. And that, even if Google remains the ultra dominant player in research, especially on smartphones, the world number 2 is Microsoft. With nearly 9% market share on computer and around 3.5% on mobile, the American remains a dwarf compared to Google. But its users therefore number in the tens of millions. Which remains a lucrative trade. Who paid too little attention to European personal data protection laws.

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