France To Fine Google Over Privacy Laws

RELATED NEW DELHI: France’s data protection watchdog said on Friday it would take action against US giant Google for failing to comply with national privacy guidelines . The issue of data protection has gathered steam worldwide following revelations by Edward Snowden , a former contractor with the National Security Agency, that the US had a vast, secret programme called PRISM to monitor internet users. France’s CNIL said Google had failed to comply with data protection guidelines within a three-month deadline and said it would begin a formal sanction procedure, under which the US giant could be fined up to 150,000 euros ($205,000). CNIL had asked Google to inform web users in France on how it processes their personal data and to define exactly how long they can store the information. It had also requested that the US giant obtain users’ permission before storing cookies on their computers, referring to files that track netizens and allow companies to target them with tailored commercials. “On the last day of this (three-month) period, Google responded to the CNIL. Google contests the reasoning of the CNIL and has not complied with the requests laid down in the enforcement notice,” the watchdog said in a statement. “In this context, the Chair of the CNIL will now designate a rapporteur for the purpose of initiating a formal procedure for imposing sanctions.” In its response, Google made no mention of any challenge to CNIL’s reasoning and maintained it respects European law . France’s move follows Google’s introduction last year of a new privacy policy which enables it to track user activity across its search engine, Gmail , the Google+ social networking platform and other services it owns, which include YouTube . The changes make it easier for Google to collect and process data that could be used by advertisers to target individuals with offers tailored to their specific interest, thereby increasing the company’s revenue potential. Google has defended the changes it made last year on the ground that they simplify and standardise its approach across its various services. But critics argue that the policy, which offers no ability to opt out aside from refraining from signing into Google services, gives the operator of the world’s largest search engine unprecedented ability to monitor its users. While always on the agenda, the issue of data protection took on an extra dimension when Snowden’s revelations were published in June.

France sanctions Google for European privacy law violations

The enforcement follows an analysis led by European data protection authorities of a new privacy policy that Google enacted in 2012, France’s privacy watchdog, the Commission Nationale de L’Informatique et des Libertes , said Friday on its website. Google was ordered in June by the CNIL to comply with French data protection laws within three months. But Google had not changed its policies to comply with French laws by a deadline on Friday, because the company said that France’s data protection laws did not apply to users of certain Google services in France, the CNIL said. The company “has not implemented the requested changes,” the CNIL said. As a result, “the chair of the CNIL will now designate a rapporteur for the purpose of initiating a formal procedure for imposing sanctions, according to the provisions laid down in the French data protection law,” the watchdog said. Google could be fined a maximum of 150,000 ($202,562), or 300,000 for a second offense, and could in some circumstances be ordered to refrain from processing personal data in certain ways for three months. What bothers France The CNIL took issue with several areas of Google’s data policies, in particular how the company stores and uses people’s data. How Google informs users about data that it processes and obtains consent from users before storing tracking cookies were cited as areas of concern by the CNIL. In a statement, Google said that its privacy policy respects European law. “We have engaged fully with the CNIL throughout this process, and we’ll continue to do so going forward,” a spokeswoman said. Google is also embroiled with European authorities in an antitrust case for allegedly breaking competition rules. The company recently submitted proposals to avoid fines in that case.

France Insurance Market Trends & 2017 Opportunities: Life, Non-Life and Reinsurance Industry Analysis

Press Release: RnR Market Research Fri, Sep 27, 2013 2:15 PM EDT Print DALLAS, Sept. 27, 2013 /PRNewswire-iReach/ — The French life insurance segment accounted for 65.5% of the industry’s gross written premium in 2012. During the review period, turbulent financial and economic conditions adversely affected the segment’s performance. The segment posted a CAGR of 0.9%, with gross written premium expanding from EUR122.4 billion (US$180.0 billion) in 2008 to EUR127.0 billion (US$163.4 billion) in 2012. The segment’s penetration rate remained stable at 6.3% in 2012. Pension products were the leading French review-period life insurance product category. Pension policies accounted for 82.3% of the segment’s premiums in 2012. Bancassurance dominated the life insurance distribution network. The channel accounted for an average share of 60.6% of the total review-period life insurance commission paid. Complete report Life Insurance in France, Key Trends and Opportunities to 2017 is available at http://www.rnrmarketresearch.com/life-insurance-in-france-key-trends-and-opportunities-to-2017-market-report.html . (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130927/MN87823 ) France has a large and well-developed domestic reinsurance segment, with the reinsurance premium valued at EUR16.4 billion (US$21.0 billion) in 2012. There were 19 reinsurers operating in France at the end of 2011. International reinsurers such as Munich Re, Swiss Re and Berkshire Hathaway dominated the segment.