Home > All, Politics, Security Issues > European regulators say Google is breaking European privacy laws

European regulators say Google is breaking European privacy laws

You have to feel sorry for the ICO (Goodle): it’s in an invidious position. The overwhelming view of the Article 29 Working Party (ie, the collective representatives of all EU member states’ data protection regulators) is that Google is breaking European laws with its aggregated privacy policy.

Goodle (that is, the UK’s ICO) is friendly with Google. You can see that in its behaviour over Street View (the collection, inadvertent or otherwise, of personal wifi data while driving round the streets of the world). Germany fined Google over it. Goodle just said stop it, don’t do it again, and get rid of what you’ve got.

When Google didn’t get rid of it, Goodle had to get really tough, and say get rid of it now, because we really, really mean it this time!

But back to Article 29. Problematically, Goodle, it is one of six EU member states chosen to take enforcement action against Google. CNIL, the French regulator, has already completed its task. It has instructed Google in exactly what it must do to come into conformance with French laws. Google has three months to comply before CNIL levies a fine.

Spain is likely to be next. The Spanish regulator announced on Thursday that it has “found evidence of five serious privacy law breaches — each punishable with fines of up to 300,000 euros ($395,000).” (AFP) An enforcement notice with threats will likely follow shortly.

Germany is hardly likely to take a softer line – generally speaking it is tougher than most other EU nations on matters of personal privacy (some can remember Nazi Germany, and most can remember Stasi Germany).

Then we have Italy, the Netherlands, and of course Goodle. My bet is that Italy and the Netherlands do the same as France and Spain. But what then? What about the UK? What’s a good Goodle to do if all the other nations slap Google as hard as they can? It’s a difficult position for a loyal Google Poodle.

Categories: All, Politics, Security Issues
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