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France fines Google 1.1 million euros over hotel rankings practices

France fines Google 1.1 million euros over hotel rankings practices
February 15, 2021

PARIS (Reuters) - Google Ireland and Google France have agreed to pay a 1.1 million euros ($1.34 million) fine after a probe found that Google’s hotel rankings could be misleading for consumers, France’s finance ministry and fraud watchdog said on Monday.

In a statement, the ministry and watchdog also said that Google has amended its hotel rankings practices since September 2019.

Earlier, an engineering director and a software developer have quit Alphabet Inc’s Google over the dismissal of AI researcher Timnit Gebru, a sign of the ongoing conflicts at the search giant over diversity and ethics.

David Baker, a director focused on user safety, left Google last month after 16 years because Gebru’s exit “extinguished my desire to continue as a Googler,” he said in a letter seen by Reuters. Baker added, “We cannot say we believe in diversity, and then ignore the conspicuous absence of many voices from within our walls.”

Software engineer Vinesh Kannan said Wednesday on Twitter that he had left the company on Tuesday because Google mistreated Gebru and April Christina Curley, a recruiter who has said she was wrongly fired last year. Both Gebru and Curley identify as Black.“They were wronged,” Kannan said.

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