Google faces fines in France over user data policy

June 20, 2013
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european union flags Credit: tiseb/Flickr

Google has faced quite a bit of trouble in the EU lately. Some of that centers around silly anticompetitive complaints led by Microsoft, but there are also some privacy concerns being raised. The European Union is keen to keep Google honest with their privacy policy, and Google is more than happy to work with them.

In france, a watchdog group called the “National Commission for Computing and Civil Liberties”, or CNIL, has pointed out in as statement that Google is preventing users from “knowing how their personal data may be used and from controlling such use.” In a statement, the CNIL alleges that Google has breached the French data protection act of 1978, and demands users have more control over their personal information, and how it’s used.

The CNIL is also careful to point out that the notice “does not aim to substitute for Google to define the concrete measures to be implemented, but rather to make it reach compliance with the legal principles, without hindering either its business model or its innovation ability.”

This isn’t the first time Google has run afoul of the CNIL. In October, we told you about their issue with how Google uses web activity to personalize ads. This new complaint of theirs is along the same line. This time, the CNIL is ready to levy fines if Google hasn’t complied in three months time.

We reached out to Google, and a spokesperson told us “Our privacy policy respects European law and allows us to create simpler, more effective services. We have engaged fully with the authorities involved throughout this process, and we’ll continue to do so going forward.”

We look forward to seeing a resolution to this, hopefully soon.

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