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Friday, September 27, 2013
Google Faces Fine Over Privacy Rules

France will fine Google 300,000 euros for breaking rules on data privacy.

The French agency that regulates information technology on Friday said that Google hadn't responded to its June decision giving the company three months to be more upfront about the data it collects from users.

On 20 June 2013, the CNIL's Chair had ordered Google to comply with the French data protection law within 3 months. On the last day of this period, Google responded to the CNIL. CNIL says Google hasn't made requested changes including specifying to users what it uses personal data for, and how long it's held.

CNIL says it will now launch formal sanction proceedings according to the provisions laid down in the French data protection law.

Spain, Britain, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands have also opened similar cases against Google because the U.S.-based web giant's privacy policy introduced in 2012 does not conform with local rules protecting consumers on how their personal data is processed and stored.

However, penalties most countries can impose remain small compared with the $10.7 billion net profit that Google earned in 2012. Spain can impose fines of up to 1 million euros, while the German Data Protection Act caps penalties at 300,000 euros.

European data protection watchdogs claim that Google's move in March 2012 to consolidate its 60 privacy policies into one and the fact that the company started combining data collected on individual users across its services violate privacy laws.

Google is also seeking to settle a three-year probe with E.C. antitrust regulators into whether it squeezes out online rivals in search results. Brussels has also started looking into Google's Android software that runs mobile phones, to see if it crimps competition in the handset market.

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