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A $204,000 data-privacy violation fine against a company worth $381 billion!

Google

France has just handed out a fine against Google for failing to comply with the country’s Data Protection Act.

What’s the fine amount? A measly USD $204,000 (€150,000)! That’s against a company whose market cap is more than USD $381 billion. At current share prices, that’s the equivalent of 178 Google shares.

With a fine like that, no wonder Google and other companies don’t care about the consequences of breaking any rule or regulation. They just count it as a cost of doing business and move on right ahead and brake the next regulation.

The USD $204,000 fine is just a fraction of the $7 million fine for wardriving against the company in the US in March 2013, and also even less than the $731 million handed out against Microsoft by the EU Commission (See EU Commission fines Microsoft $731 million, but does it really matter?.)

By the way, the fine was handed out by France’s Commission nationale de l’informatique et des libertés (CNIL), whose mission is to ensure “that information technology remains at the service of citizens, and does not jeopardize human identity or breach human rights, privacy or individual or public liberties.”

That mission scope is laudable, but those fines should have more bite. Interestingly, this USD $204,000 fine against Google is said to be the highest ever levied by CNIL. Like I wrote earlier, the commission’s fines should have more bite.

You may read more about the fine at CNIL’s website.

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