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France fines Google $ 1.1 million in “misleading” hotel rankings

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The Google logo displayed next to the Grand Canal Dock station in Dublin during the blockade of COVID-19 in Dublin, Ireland, February 2, 2021. / Getty

The Google logo displayed next to the Grand Canal Dock station in Dublin during the blockade of COVID-19 in Dublin, Ireland, February 2, 2021. / Getty

Google again fines in Europe after French authorities have completed a survey of the company’s hotel rankings, which were considered “misleading” to consumers and harmful to hotels and tourist accommodation. I was fined. The total fine is 1.1 million euros ($ 1.34 million).

The survey received complaints from hoteliers accusing high-tech companies of posting misleading classifications of tourist accommodations on search engines, and in 2019 the French General Administration of Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Prevention (DGCCRF) ) Started by.

The DGCCRF analyzed the rankings of more than 7,500 establishments and concluded that Google replaced the Atout France classification (star system) with its own classification based on that criterion. However, the same use of the term “star” as it was used caused confusion among users.

“This practice was particularly damaging to consumers who were misunderstood about the level of service they could expect when booking accommodation, and hotels whose facilities were mistakenly presented as lower than Atout France’s official ranking. It also brought prejudice to management. ”The statement reads.

The Google EMEA office in the western part of the Grand Canal Dock in Dublin, Ireland. / Getty

The Google EMEA office in the western part of the Grand Canal Dock in Dublin, Ireland. / Getty

In the announcement, the French Treasury and Watchdog added that Google Ireland and Google France “corrected their practices” and are now using the official Atout France rankings.

The tech company told Euronews that it had made the necessary changes to reflect only the official French rankings on Google Maps and search. Google reportedly said that the previous classification used a variety of sources, including Atout France, hotel owner feedback, and other sources.

In December, Google, alongside Amazon (€ 35 million), “for placing advertising cookies on users’ computers without prior consent and without providing appropriate information” € 100 million. Was fined.

France’s CNIL Data Privacy Watchdog said the two companies did not seek the consent of the visitor before the advertising cookie was stored on the computer and did not provide clear information about future use of that information. ..

In 2019, the European Commission was a committee that fined Google € 1.49 billion (about $ 1.7 billion) for “abuse” of online advertising.

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