July 5, 2013
Google Gets New Threat From UK Privacy Watchdog ICO
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
The battle over Google and their privacy policies continues in the UK and much of Europe as privacy watchdogs call the search giant out for the way they borrow data from each of their services. The Information Commissioner in the UK now says Google's privacy policies could be a breech of the Data Protection Act and has given them 11 weeks to address their complaints.
"In particular, we believe that the updated policy does not provide sufficient information to enable UK users of Google's services to understand how their data will be used across all of the company's products."
The ICO has official authority to protect certain privacy acts such as the UK Data Protection Act of 1998, Freedom of Information Act of 2000 and the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulation of 2003. As such, the ICO has legal powers to hit the American company with a $744,200 fine. Though they have the power to levy this fine against Google if they don't address their concerns by September 20, CNet UK says this action is unlikely.
This latest run-in with the ICO and others is only another in a long line of legal battles the search company has had with Internet privacy advocates from across the globe.
It was less than two months ago lawyers were being pressured by Internet users to get tough with Google concerning their privacy policies. Though the ICO is now threatening Google with a half-million pound fine, some feel this isn't enough to make a lasting impression on a company that pulls in that amount of money in just two hours each day. These lawyers are fighting for clear warnings from Google about the way they use customer data, separate policies for each of their services, and a clear apology from the company posted on their homepage.