Amazon fined 35mEUR by French CNIL for unlawful use of cookies

On 10th December 2020, the French supervisory authority, Commission nationale de l'informatique et des libertés (“CNIL”), announced that is had imposed a penalty of 35 million euros against Amazon for unlawful use of cookies.


Between the period of 12th December 2019 and 19th of May 2020, the CNIL conducted several inspections regarding the website These inspections revealed that Amazon infringed its obligations to place cookies only after receiving a valid consent and to provide transparent information when using cookies. When entering the website, more than 40 cookies used for advertising were deposited on the end users terminal equipment.


CNIL found that the information provided on the home page was insufficient, as the banner provided only ‘general’ and ‘approximate’ descriptions of the required information. The purpose of the cookies as well as the information regarding the refusal of cookies were not present. In addition, no information was provided to the end users who entered the website thought other websites or advertisement campaigns.


In its defence, regarding the valid consent, Amazon argued that its cookie practices are subject to compliance with the laws of Luxembourg, and such laws provides that consent can be obtained via browser settings.


CNIL noted that browser settings may constitute a valid mechanism for collecting consent, provided that end users are informed beforehand, which was not the case in this situation.


Read CNIL’s press release here.
Read the CNIL’s decision here.