Amazon Europe Core Fined 35 Million Euros for not Complying with Cookie Rules


Amazon Europe Core Fined 35 Million Euros for not Complying with Cookie Rules

The CNIL has fined Amazon Europe Core 35 million euros for placing advertising cookies on users' computers on the site without prior consent and for not informing them about cookies properly.

The CNIL has found that two violations of article 82 of the Data Protection Act.

Placing of cookies without users’ consent

The investigation has found that the website had been placing a large number of advertising cookies without user’s prior consent and before they perform any action.

Lack of transparency

The website had not been providing users with clear and complete information about cookies. The users could not understand that the main objective of cookies placed on the computer was to display personalized advertisements and the banner was not clear on how can users refuse the use of such cookies.

The circumstances of the penalty

The website has been redesigned in September 2020, but before that it had been violating the rules around the use of cookies. The aggravating factor was that the Amazon is one of the largest e-commerce websites with millions of individuals located in France visiting the website daily. These cookies were used to increase the visibility of Amazon’s products elsewhere on the web. Even though the new banner does contain appropriate mechanism to refuse the use of the advertising cookies, the information contained in it is not sufficient to satisfy transparency requirements. Therefore, in addition to the monetary fine an injunction has been issued to Amazon in order to satisfy conditions under Article 82 of the Data Protection Act related to the information to be provided to individuals. Alternatively, the company will be exposed to the payment of a fine of 100,000 euros per day of delay.

The CNIL considers itself to be competent to control and sanction companies placing cookies on devices belonging to individuals in France which are violating cookie rules. In addition, Amazon France can be considered an establishment of Amazon Europe Core as it promotes their products and services.

Note: Amazon Europe Core is a company incorporated under Luxembourg law, part of the Amazon group and responsible for the European “Amazon” websites, including the website.

The information herein can be found in the CNIL’s press release available here.

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