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US tech giant Microsoft has been fined $64 million for imposing advertising cookies on users in France.

The country’s privacy watchdog said it’s the largest fine imposed in 2002 after Microsoft’s search engine Bing had not set up a system allowing users to refuse cookies as simple as accepting them.

Fin24 reports that the French regulator said that after investigations it found that “when users visited this site, cookies were deposited on their terminal without their consent, while these cookies were used, among others, for advertising purposes.

Besides users’ info being used without their consent, there was also no button allowing them to refuse the deposit of cookies as easily as accepting it.

The privacy watchdog said they justified the fine amount based on the profits the company made from advertising profits indirectly generated from the data collected via cookies.

Microsoft has been given three months to correct the issue. If they don’t manage to rectify it, a penalty of 60 000 euros per day will be charged.

Only last year, Google and Facebook were also fined by the privacy watchdog for similar breaches. While Facebook received a fine of 60 million euros, Google was slapped with a 150 million euro fine.

Image credit: Thought Co

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