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Google Under Fire From Dutch Data Protection Authority

November 29, 2013
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Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online

The Dutch Data Protection Authority (DPA) claims that Google is violating Dutch data protection law. The Dutch agency performed a seven-month-long investigation and found that Google is breaking the data law by combining personal data from its many different online services. DPA said in a statement that the online giant does not adequately inform users about the combining of personal data from all its web services.

According to the findings, Google is combining data from different services to help tailor ads and personal services like YouTube. Jacob Kohnstamm, chairman of the College for the Protection of Personal Data, told the Washington Post that Google is spinning an invisible web of personal data without permission, and “that is outlawed.”

While this report claims Google isn’t providing sufficient enough warning to users, the online giant says it does provide them with adequate information about the way it processes their personal data.

“Our privacy policy respects European law and allows us to create simpler, more effective services. We have engaged fully with the Dutch DPA throughout this process and will continue to do so going forward,” Google said in a statement.

Google said that consent required by Dutch law for the combining of personal data from different Google services cannot be obtained by accepting a general privacy terms of service. A company spokesman said Google’s privacy policy respects European law and allows the company’s employees to create simpler, more effective services.

DPA said it has invited Google to attend a meeting to discuss its concerns, after which it would decide whether to take any action against the cloud services. The agency said that it was nearly impossible for Dutch Internet users not to interact with Google, whether it be through Google Search, YouTube or Maps, or passively looking through third-party websites.

The Netherlands isn’t the only European nation that is investigating Google’s privacy policy. Countries like France, Spain, Germany, Britain and Italy have concerns about the online giant as well. Spain’s Data Protection Agency said in June that it had initiated sanction proceedings after initial investigations showed that Google Spain and Google Inc. may be committing six infractions, adding that the company also faces fines of up to $408,000.

Google imposed new terms of services on users back in March 2012 for its cloud services, which includes YouTube, the Gmail service and the Google search engine.


Source: Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online



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