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French watchdog fines Google, Amazon for breaching cookies rules

France’s data privacy watchdog has handed out its biggest ever fine of 100 million euros ($121 million) to Alphabet’s Google for breaching the country’s rules on online advertising trackers (cookies)….

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PARIS (Reuters) -France’s data privacy watchdog has handed out its biggest ever fine of 100 million euros ($121 million) to Alphabet’s Google for breaching the country’s rules on online advertising trackers (cookies).

FILE PHOTO: A Google sign is shown at one of the company’s office complexes in Irvine, California, U.S., July 27, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Blake

The CNIL said on Thursday it had also fined e-commerce giant Amazon 35 million euros for breaking the same rules,

The regulator found the companies’ French websites didn’t seek the prior consent of visitors before advertising cookies – small pieces of data stored while navigating on the Web – were saved on computers, it said in a statement.

Google and Amazon also failed to provide clear information to internet users about how the firms intended to make use of such online trackers and how visitors to their French websites could refuse any use of the cookies, the watchdog said.

The CNIL rejected the companies’ arguments that it had no right to impose the sanctions because their respective European headquarters are in Ireland and Luxembourg – two countries perceived by some data privacy advocacy groups as being lenient toward Silicon Valley companies.

The CNIL said Google’s fine had to be paid for the most part by its U.S. entity Google LLC (60 million euros) and the rest by EU-based Google Ireland Limited (40 million).

Amazon’s fine has to be paid by its Luxembourg-based entity.

The CNIL said the companies had three months to change the information banners. If they fail to do so, they will face an additional fine of 100,000 euros per day until they comply.

The financial penalty against Google is the biggest ever issued by the CNIL, a spokesman for the watchdog said.

The previous record fine of 50 million euros also targeted the U.S. tech giant for breaching EU data privacy rules.

“We stand by our record of providing upfront information and clear controls, strong internal data governance, secure infrastructure, and above all, helpful products,” Google said in a statement.

“Today’s decision under French ePrivacy laws overlooks these efforts and doesn’t account for the fact that French rules and regulatory guidance are uncertain and constantly evolving.”

Amazon said separately it disagreed with CNIL’s decision.

“We continuously update our privacy practices to ensure that we meet the evolving needs and expectations of customers and regulators and fully comply with all applicable laws in every country in which we operate,” it said.

($1 = 0.8269 euros)

Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain; Writing by Matthieu Protard; Editing by Mark Potter

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Source: https://www.reuters.com/article/google-privacy-france/update-2-french-watchdog-fines-google-amazon-for-breaching-cookies-rules-idUSL1N2IQ0EH

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Reuters

Disneyland Paris to re-open on June 17

Disneyland Paris (DIS.N) said on Monday that it would re-open on June 17, as French bars, restaurants and tourism sites gradually resume their operations after having been shut due to COVID-19 sanitary restrictions.

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The logo of Disneyland Paris is seen in Marne-la-Vallee, near Paris, as the theme park prepares to reopen its doors to the public following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in France, July 9, 2020. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

Disneyland Paris (DIS.N) said on Monday that it would re-open on June 17, as French bars, restaurants and tourism sites gradually resume their operations after having been shut due to COVID-19 sanitary restrictions.

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Source: https://www.reuters.com/lifestyle/disneyland-paris-re-open-june-17-2021-05-17/

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Reuters

Chip shortage to hit about 100,000 Mazda vehicles in 2021

Mazda Motor Corp (7261.T) said on Friday it expects a semiconductor crunch to affect around 100,000 of the Japanese automaker’s vehicles globally during the fiscal year.

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The logo of Mazda is pictured at the LA Auto Show in Los Angeles, California, U.S., November 20, 2019. REUTERS/Andrew Cullen

Mazda Motor Corp (7261.T) said on Friday it expects a semiconductor crunch to affect around 100,000 of the Japanese automaker’s vehicles globally during the fiscal year.

However, Mazda will fully leverage available inventory to minimize the hit to about 70,000 wholesale units, it said in a statement.

The worldwide shift to remote work and learning during the pandemic had boosted demand for laptops and other gadgets, exacerbating a global chip shortage.

The shortfall will cost automakers $110 billion in lost revenues this year, up from a prior estimate of $61 billion, consulting firm AlixPartners said, forecasting the crisis will hit the production of 3.9 million vehicles. read more

Automobiles depend on chips for everything from computer management of engines for better fuel economy to driver-assistance features such as emergency braking.

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

The worldwide shift to remote work and learning during the pandemic had boosted demand for laptops and other gadgets, exacerbating a global chip shortage.

Source: https://www.reuters.com/business/autos-transportation/chip-shortage-hit-about-100000-mazda-vehicles-2021-2021-05-14/

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Reuters

England to ease COVID restrictions further on May 17

England will press ahead with plans to ease COVID-19 restrictions further on May 17, including allowing people to meet indoors, thanks to favourable data on infections and vaccines, the government said on Sunday.

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Visitors to Greenwich Park sit and look towards Canary Wharf financial district as lockdown restrictions are eased amidst the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in London, Britain, April 25, 2021. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

England will press ahead with plans to ease COVID-19 restrictions further on May 17, including allowing people to meet indoors, thanks to favourable data on infections and vaccines, the government said on Sunday.

The country is in the process of gradually lifting its latest lockdown over a period of months, in line with a four-step plan unveiled in February.

Under Step 3 of the plan, as outlined when it was first announced, people will be allowed to meet up indoors for the first time in months, in groups of up to six people or two full households together.

Pubs, cafes and restaurants will be able to host customers indoors, also for the first time in months and subject to certain rules. Other indoor entertainment, hospitality and sports venues will also be able to resume activity.

Johnson’s Downing Street office said the latest data on COVID vaccinations, on infections, hospitalisations and deaths, and on the risk posed by new variants had been taken into account in deciding to move forward with Step 3.

“The data reflects what we already knew – we are not going to let this virus beat us,” Johnson said, according to a Downing Street statement.

“The roadmap remains on track, our successful vaccination programme continues – more than two thirds of adults in the UK have now had the first vaccine – and we can now look forward to unlocking cautiously but irreversibly.”

Johnson was due to provide further details at a news conference on Monday.

Semi-autonomous administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have their own separate timetables for easing COVID restrictions.

The United Kingdom has lost more than 127,000 people to COVID-19. It experienced a devastating second wave that peaked in late January, but since then the numbers of new cases and deaths have plummeted. read more

On Sunday, a total of 1,770 new cases and two new deaths were recorded across the United Kingdom. That contrasts with the situation during the second wave, when the daily number of new cases peaked at over 80,000 while the daily death toll was above 1,300 on the worst day.

There are also expected to be significant changes for the arts and events sectors under Step 3, with both indoor and outdoor venues allowed to host far greater numbers of people than for many months.

The government had already confirmed last week that international travel would be allowed to resume on May 17, although still with severe restrictions in place except for a handful of countries. read more

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Source: https://www.reuters.com/world/uk/england-ease-covid-restrictions-further-may-17-2021-05-09/

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