Google faces EU investigation after failing to fix privacy policy

2nd Apr 2013 | 15:31

Google faces EU investigation after failing to fix privacy policy

It's time to face the music

Google has found itself in hot water, with six European authorities about to launch a formal investigation into the company's unified data policy.

By unified, we're referring to the way that Google now has one privacy policy that covers over 60 services, which means the data you generate on things like search, Gmail and YouTube are used to create a more complete profile for Google to target ads against.

Naturally, this, coupled with the fact that Google didn't provide an opt-out option, set privacy alarm bells ringing. The EU put pressure on Google to revise its policy - but Google resisted and now it's facing the consequences.

Boiling point

An initial investigation was launched by the French data protection body, CNIL. Now the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands are all setting their legal sights on Google, which used to collect data from its various services separately.

"The ICO has launched an investigation into whether Google's revised March 2012 privacy policy is compliant with the Data Protection Act," a spokesman said.

"Several data protection authorities across Europe are now considering whether the policy is compliant with their own national legislation."

EU regulators have been preparing to take on Google's privacy policy since the company did not respond by its four-month deadline.

Google could be facing a fine of up to £500,000 ($757,000, AUS$723,000) by Britain's Information Commissioner's Office if it's found to be breaching the UK Data Protection Act, and that's before the rest of Europe gets in on the act.

Via The Telegraph

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