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Google fined by Spain’s privacy watchdog over data protection

Public SectorNews
by Anthony Cuthbertson
, 20 Dec 2013News
Google fined by Spain’s privacy watchdog over data protection

Spain's privacy watchdog has fined Google 900,000€ (£750,000) for breaking data protection laws in the country by not being clear to users about how their data is used.

Investigations into Google's use of personal information in cloud storage services are also ongoing in five other European countries, including France and Holland.

The issue stems from March 2012, when the internet giant introduced new mandatory terms of service to its users of its cloud services.

The new terms covered Youtube, Gmail and Google's search engine, and meant that individuals using these services had almost no control over their personal information.

The fine in Spain could signal the start of even more European countries reviewing Google's privacy policies. According to Reuters the company has not yet challenged the Spanish ruling, though it has reportedly sought to explain its privacy policy to the authorities.

The Spanish Agency for Data Protection said in a statement: "Inspections have shown that Google compiles personal information through close to one hundred services and products it offers in Spain, without providing in many cases the adequate information about the data that is being gathered, why it is gathered and without obtaining the consent of the owners."

In July privacy watchdogs in the UK, Germany and Italy demanded that Google alters its European privacy policy or else face legal sanctions. Google's lack of action on the matter led Dutch authorities to conclude last month that "Google spins an invisible Web of our personal data, without our consent. And that is forbidden by law".

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