MK Digital Line
• France’s data privacy watchdog has fined Google and Facebook a combined €210m (£176m) for hampering users’ ability to stop the companies tracking their online activity. 

• The Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés (CNIL) said on Thursday it had fined Google a record €150m for making it difficult for internet users to refuse cookies – small text files that build up a profile of a person’s web activity for commercial purposes. 

• It fined Facebook €60m for the same reason. 

• Internet users’ prior consent for the use of cookies is a key pillar of the EU’s data privacy regulation, and a top priority for the CNIL. 

• The watchdog said the facebook.com, google.fr and youtube.com websites did not allow the easy refusal of cookies. 

• Citing the example of Facebook, it said: “Several clicks are required to refuse all cookies, as opposed to a single one to accept them.” 

• It said the companies had three months to comply with its orders, including making it easier for French users to decline cookies, or face extra penalty payments of €100,000 for every day of delay.

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