Google made the move so that it could improve its targeted advertising strategy, by pooling available data from its full range of products, including Gmail, Search, Google+ and YouTube and using it to predict the kinds of ads most likely to appeal to its users.
Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin of CNIL told Google that it needed to provide clearer information about the kind of data it is collecting from its users, and it should better explain the purpose behind doing so. In addition, CNIL has ordered Google to allow users ‘control’ over how their personal data is
The scope of CNIL’s investigation into Google goes far beyond its home nation of France. The watchdog was acting on behalf of 27 countries in the EU, although the states of Greece, Lithuania and Romania refused to sign up for its findings. On the other hand, non-EU states Liechtenstein and Croatia have both agreed to ratify them, meaning that any changes Google makes would need to be effective in a total of 29 countries.
Google has been given “three-to-four months” to make the required changes as stipulated by CNIL; if it fails to do so, it could potentially face sanctions, although what these will be remains anyone’s guess.
Google is yet to react to CNIL’s findings.