Google privacy policy dispute: The facts!

Google is in the middle of a legal battle with European privacy watchdogs after the organisation refused to change its new privacy policy in order to adhere to EU compliance regulations. The watchdogs said “Google Inc.’s privacy practices don’t comply with Europe-wide data-protection rules.”

The Problem with Google’s Privacy Policy:

Google presented the new policy in March 2012 and it the changes allowed the search giant to help utilize targeted advertising by merging user data from its different websites (Gmail, Google+, Google Drive, etc.). Another issue is that the company’s 60 privacy policies have been combined into one “simpler” policy.

EU regulators have decided that the privacy policy does not provide enough information for users about how their data will be used or tracked. Also if a user does not agree with these policy changes they would not be able to use Google’s services. The regulators believe that the company should allow their users the right to control their own data gathered from any of their sites.

The Latest Development:

  • October 16 2012

After investigation led by the CNIL (European data protection authorities) have concluded that Google’s new confidentiality rules need to improve with more information for user’s understanding the combination of data across Google’s services.

  • After the 4 months deadline

There was no answer from Google. In this period of time, the company was supposed to have made changes to comply with European data protection regulations.

  • February 18 2012

After Google did not effectively respond to CNIL’s suggestions for regulatory compliance, they are going to continue their inquiries and are going to set up a “working group to coordinate their repressive action.”

What is next for the Google Privacy Dispute?

The CNIL will be discussing the next stage of this investigation on 26 February and consider what penalties will be applied to breaches of the data protection act. Christopher Graham, the Information Commissioner, can “enforce fines of up to £500,000.” The key example being Sony’s £250,000 fine for a major hack given from the same authoritative body.

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