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

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

The fine was imposed by the CNIL, the CNIL, following several complaints.

It carried out a series of checks and noted four breaches of the general regulations for the protection of personal data (RGPD), including breaches of the obligation to protect data from the outset and of data security.

The commission highlighted the fact that Free sent customers’ non-temporary passwords by email without encrypting them when subscribing to offers.

Photo: Screenshot / CNIL

The CNIL also highlighted the difficulties encountered by individuals regarding their requests for access to data concerning them, as well as Free’s failure to comply with requests from individuals to no longer receive commercial messages or advertisements.

The CNIL said of the fine:

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

“Its publicity is justified by the need to recall 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 providing information and guides on mobile phone plans.

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

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