France planning to slap Google with sanctions over privacy violation

France's privacy watchdog, the Commission Nationale de Informatique et des Libert (CNIL), on Friday warned that it could slap Google with sanctions for its refusal to make required changes to its controversial privacy policy.

The French privacy watchdog had launched a probe into the Internet search giant's privacy policies in March 2012. The probe, which was launched on behalf of the EU's Article 29 Working Party, reportedly found that the Mountain View-based company breached France's Data Protection Act, and asked the company to make the required changes to its privacy policy or face sanctions.

But, Google refused to make changes demanded by the privacy watchdog, arguing that it was already in compliance with the European privacy law. The Internet firm also argued that the French privacy law was not applicable to its various online services.

Taking a tougher stance, CNIL said in a statement, "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."

CNIL can now order Google to pay a fine of up to 150,000 euros (US$202,755) for the alleged violation, and another fine of 300,000 euros three months after the first fine in case the company still refuses to comply with the order.