France slaps Google’s hands over privacy violations

Google

Photo: Robert Scoble

France — While Google recently vowed to fight unlawful government spying by the NSA, Google hasn’t been immune to their own consumer privacy problems. France recently slapped Google’s hands over the way it implemented a unified privacy policy on Wednesday according to GIGAOM. The issue that French regulators had wasn’t with the policy but the way Google’s recently blended privacy policies across product platforms and failed to inform consumers how their information would be shared or why consumer data was combined.

Specifically France’s CNIL’s Sanctions Committee found that Google implemented this policy violating several requirements of law:

  • The company does not sufficiently inform its users of the conditions in which their personal data are processed, nor of the purposes of this processing. They may therefore neither understand the purposes for which their data are collected, which are not specific as the law requires, nor the ambit of the data collected through the different services concerned. Consequently, they are not able to exercise their rights, in particular their right of access, objection or deletion.
  • The company does not comply with its obligation to obtain user consent prior to the storage of cookies on their terminals.
  • It fails to define retention periods applicable to the data which it processes.
  • Finally, it permits itself to combine all the data it collects about its users across all of its services without any legal basis.

Google was fined 150 000 € or just under $204,000 U.S.