Microsoft Risks French Fines Over Windows 10 Privacy Concerns

Microsoft Risks French Fines Over Windows 10 Privacy Concerns

(Bloomberg) -- Microsoft Corp. risks fines unless it complies with a three-month ultimatum from France’s data privacy watchdog to stop collecting masses of data and tracking Windows 10 users without their consent.

The world’s biggest software maker “has to also ensure the security and confidentiality of its users’ data in a satisfactory manner,” CNIL, the French regulator, said in a statement Wednesday.

CNIL is among the most aggressive privacy authorities in Europe, and doesn’t shy away from clashes with U.S. technology companies. Google has been in a fight with CNIL for years and in May challenged a 100,000 euro ($110,000) penalty for failing to remove “right-to-be-forgotten” requests from global search results.

CNIL can levy a maximum fine of 150,000 euros, which can be doubled to 300,000 euros in case of a repeated offense.

Robin Koch, a spokesman for Microsoft in Brussels, didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail and call seeking comment.

CNIL on Wednesday also criticized Microsoft for continuing to transfer “personal data from its users to the U.S. based on Safe Harbor,” a trans-Atlantic pact that was annulled by the European Union’s highest court in October.

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