Google facing legal threat from six European countries over privacy

3 April 2013

google glasses Google are looking at a number of fines from privacy regulators of six European countries, including the UK and Germany, after the search giant refused to reverse changes to its privacy policies.

The search behemoth has been sticking its fingers in its ears and unwilling to respond to multiple demands made over the months.

France's privacy body, CNIL, alongside its counterparts in the UK, Netherlands, German, Spain and Italy, said they will take joint legal action which will involve an investigation and fines.

CNIL said in a statement: "The EU Data protection authorities asked Google to comply with their recommendations within four months. After this period has expired, Google has not implemented any significant compliance measures."

The UK's ICO can dole out fines of up to £500,000 for breaches of the Data Protection Act and CNIL could fine Google £255,000. The small problem there is that the fines combined don't even add up to the profits made by Google in 10 minutes. More worrying is if the regulators try and block Google from operating in Europe.

Elsewhere, European competition regulators are looking into what they can do to stop monopoly abuses by Google.

A spokesperson for the ICO said: "We put our concerns to Google [in October] and gave them a date to respond. They failed to respond. We had a meeting in March and Google was present, and gave them a deadline to respond. They failed to respond. Google has failed to address the concerns or take on board the recommendations from the meeting held last month."

A Google spokesperson said: "Our privacy policy respects European law and allows us to create simpler, more effective services. We have engaged fully with the data protection authorities involved throughout this process, and we'll continue to do so going forward."

TOPICS:   Technology   Privacy   World News

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