French mobile service Free fined € 300,000 for breach of data protection

Free Mobile, one of the main providers of mobile services in France, was fined € 300,000 for failing to respect the security of its users’ data.

The fine was imposed by the national data regulation authority, the CNIL, following several complaints.

It carried out a series of checks and found four breaches of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), including breaches of the obligation to protect data from the outset and of data security.

The commission pointed out that Free emailed customers’ non-temporary passwords without encrypting them when customers signed up for offers.

Photo: Screenshot / CNIL

The CNIL also highlighted the difficulties encountered by individuals in their requests for access to data concerning them, and the inability of Free to acknowledge receipt of requests from individuals to no longer receive commercial messages or advertisements.

The CNIL said about the fine:

“This sanction takes into account the size and financial situation of the company.

“Its publicity is justified by the need to remind people of the importance of dealing with the rights of individuals and the security of user data.

Free has 13.38 million mobile customers in France, according to Alloforfait, an online service offering information and guides on mobile plans.

Free is one of four mobile service providers in France to deploy 5G mobile data.

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