The French data protection authority C.N.I.L. ordered Microsoft to stop collecting excessive data on the users of its Windows 10 operating system, failing which the U.S. company might see a sanctions procedure initiated against it. C.N.I.L. accused Microsoft of gathering user information without consent and then using it to serve targeted advertising on Windows apps and third-party apps.
The French privacy watchdog said that it was making the decision public considering the “seriousness of breaches” and the number of individuals affected, writes Reuters. C.N.I.L. added that the action has been taken after a number of E.U. data protection authorities analyzed Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system since its launch in July 2015.
Under the existing laws, the maximum fine that can be slapped by European data protection authorities accounts for a negligible percentage of the revenues of big U.S. tech companies, notes The Guardian. However, within the next two years, the authorities plan to introduce a new legislation that would levy fines of up to four percent of a company’s annual global turnover.
C.N.I.L. clarified that the latest move was not aimed at prohibiting any company from advertising on its services but to ensure that users are informed about exercising their rights of free choice.