Not only did Google have to try to persuade the English High Court that British consumers shouldn’t be able to sue it here, but it faced a number of other difficulties. Here’s our weekly roundup.
Spanish data protection authority’s privacy sanctions imposed on Google: according to the Wall Street Journal, “The Spanish Agency for Data Protection is demanding €900,000 ($1.24 million) from Google for three breaches of the laws: gathering data on users, combining the data through several services and keeping the data indefinitely without the knowledge or consent of users.” It added, “Google said in a statement that it was studying the findings to determine its next step and will continue to cooperate with the agency to ‘create simpler, more effective services.’” (The Wall Street Journal; Google Fined in European Privacy Probe)
London’s Evening Standard exposes he price of Google’s “free” services: reporter Lucy Hunter Johnston discussed how Google and Facebook consumers pay for “free” services by allowing their data to be mined by the companies. She asked, “Can you imagine a world where your email was being read, your location tracked and your browsing history logged? Well, stop imagining, because this is exactly what is happening. Every move you make online is being watched. Between them, Google and Facebook are building up one of the largest collections of personal data that has ever existed.” Her article examined the pros and cons of targeted advertising, and noted that Google has been fined for privacy violations in the past. (The Evening Standard; We’ve found you)
As we enter the Christmas week, we just want to remind Google what we told people going into the High Court this week: all we want for Christmas is for Google to respect Britons’ privacy. Do the right thing Google. Or maybe Santa will miss you out.