Microsoft Faces A $64 Million Fine Implemented By France Over Bing Search

Microsoft Faces A $64 Million Fine Implemented By France Over Bing Search

December 24, 2022 0 By Wiley McDermott

The privacy watchdog from France has recently taken major action against the second-largest tech company in the entire world, Microsoft.

The sources claim that the particular watchdog in France has imposed a major fine on Microsoft. As confirmed by the sources, the fine implemented on Microsoft is worth $64 million (€60 million).

Fine Imposed by the French Privacy Regulator

The French digital privacy regulator, CNIL has claimed that the tech company is not providing clearing information/instructions to the users about the cookies.

The cookies highlighted by the French regulator are pertaining to the online ads that are offered by Bing. It is a search engine like Google, which is offered by Microsoft.

Europe has been coming up with stricter regulations pertaining to data protection.

They are highly concerned about the data protection of their citizens and are taking the necessary measures to deal with the situation.

The French regulatory authority is on the same page as other European regulators as well. Therefore, it is taking the necessary action to deal with the companies and entities that are found breaching the policies.

As the regulatory authority in France has found Microsoft to be breaching the protection law, it has imposed a major fine on the company.

By imposing a fine, the regulator has confirmed that it is going to show no flexibility towards any entity not respecting the country’s data protection law. Even the likes of Microsoft have been fined $64 million.

CNIL’s Announced

The CNIL reportedly made an announcement on Thursday where it highlighted the activities of the search engine offered by Microsoft.

As per the regulator, they had been investigating several cases pertaining to the data collection activities on Microsoft’s search engine, Bing.

They launched their investigation against Bing back in September 2020. The investigation reportedly took place from 2020 towards the end of May 2021.

The regulator claimed that without the users knowing about it or having any knowledge, Bing was dropping cookies inside their systems.

This way, Bing’s cookies were collecting data that belonged to the users without getting their consent. The cookies being added to the terminals of the users without their permission is not an ethical or professional move at all.

In addition to the above, the regulatory has claimed that the users were given no control over whether they wanted the cookies added to their terminals or not.

The platform should have offered the option to the users to give their consent for the cookies. They had access to no button that would let them reject the cookies from the Bing platform.

This meant that the users had no idea that they were letting Microsoft collect their data information. Later, they realized that the option had been added over time but it was not convenient for the users.

If the users wanted to allow cookies while using Bing, they could do it by pressing a single button. If they had to reject the cookies option, then they had to select two options before they could do it.

The users needing to press two buttons is something that the regulator found to be misleading o the users. Therefore, it has implemented a fine over Microsoft, so the company understands its mistake and fixes the problem.

Microsoft has to fix the Matter

While imposing the hefty fine, the regulator has issued an order against the tech giant to fix the problem at its end as early as possible.

According to the regulations, Microsoft must come up with a way to simplify the refusal mechanism for cookies on the Bing platform.

As per the order, Microsoft has a three-month period to fix the problem. If it does not, it will face €60,000 fine for every day spent over the three-month period.

Ever since the news came out, the share prices for Microsoft have dipped by 0.23%. At the time of writing, Microsoft’s shares are trading at a low of $238.73 per share.