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Cookie consent pop-ups are ubiquitous, and while many have simple allow or deny buttons, some make it very easy to allow but very hard to deny, causing many users simply to click allow just to allow them to get on with their task.
Now the French Data Protection Authority Cnil has fined Google and Facebook a combined 210 million Euro ($238 million) for doing just that, with the Authority determining that the companies made it too cumbersome to switch off the cookie collection for both services.
Facebook in particular made it easy to accept cookies but users had to click on a button that said “Accept cookies” to deactivate it.
Google was fined 150 million euros while Facebook was fined 60 million euros. Both companies have 3 months to make corrections, before a 100,000 Euro per day fine kicks in if violations continue to occur.
The fines are the largest by Cnil and indicate a renewed seriousness about protecting the privacy of its citizens.