Google news from Europe

After an uncomfortable time in China already this year, Google is now experiencing difficulties in Europe. Two employees, and one ex-staffer have been convicted of breaching Italian privacy regulations in a case involving cyber-bullying back in 2006. Footage was posted to Google Video of a child being mistreated by schoolmates. The video was taken down after a request from the authorities, but the prosecutor continued with the case and convictions have led to suspended sentences. It's a pretty stark warning to all social networking and media sharing sites, that potentially they are legally responsible for every bit of content posted by anyone.

Google has also been notified by the European Commission about complaints from three companies regarding the fairness of its search engine results. UK price comparison site Foundem, French legal search engine and Microsoft’s Ciao from Bing, all accuse Google's search algorithm technology of being unfairly weighted. It remains to be seen if an antitrust case will be formally investigated.

Associated Press also report that the company has been asked to better notify residents before its Street View camera vehicles start to collect pictures. Not sirens or alarms on the vans, just notification posted on the web, and in local papers before the event. The data protection authorities in Finland, Germany, Greece and the UK have already asked the company to make changes such as lowering the camera angle so that the images don’t show private gardens.

Originally published at