The Commission Nationale de L’informatique et des Libertés (CNIL), France’s digital privacy regulator, announced last week that it had fined US tech giant Microsoft roughly $64 million for violating regulations on advertising cookies. The CNIL found the Microsoft’s Bing search engine was operating with a system that did not allow users to easily opt out of cookie collection, which is a requirement under the EU’s general data protection regulation. The fine is the biggest that the CNIL has handed out this year.
When users visited Bing, cookies were deposited on their terminals without consent and later used for advertising purposes, the CNIL said. Although Bing offered a button to accept cookies, two clicks were needed to refuse them. Microsoft has three months to fix the issue or it will face further fines. The high fine was justified due to the money Microsoft made from advertising profits generated from the violation. Microsoft stated that it had implemented changes to its cookie collection process before the CNIL’s investigation began.