Google Threatened with Fines by Dutch Watchdog Agency
The Dutch data protection agency (DPA) claims Google broke local laws regarding user data and have given a deadline at the end of February 2015 to alter practices or face up to 15 million euros (18.7m US) in penalties.
Google combines user behavior data to serve tailored ads, meaning that search keywords, cookies, geographical data, and even email message content is all used to create personas to deliver ads to.
According to the DDP, Dutch law requires Google to inform users of data-gathering and receive permission prior to acting, and Google has been violating that requirement since 2012.
A spokesperson from Google expressed disappointment in the DPA for the order on the basis of the fact that policy changes have been implemented to address these types of concerns.
This ruling follows several others last month from European nations including the U.K., France, Germany, and Spain about Google. One of which is an antitrust case that aims to separate Google’s search features from its commercial services as the dominance of Google search in Europe has staved off much of the competition of commercial interests.
Another issue that has Google under fire is the statement by European data regulators last week that Google had failed to implement the “right to be forgotten” ruling that allowed users to request for Google to remove links containing outdated or irrelevant information.
It continues to be interesting to watch legal precedent catch up with technological advancement as the relationships between consumer privacy, commercial interest, and law evolve in the digital age.