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EU Google Privacy

Google May Face Fine Under EU Privacy Laws 88

Posted by samzenpus
from the pay-up dept.
angry tapir writes "Google faces financial sanctions in France after failing to comply with an order to alter how it stores and shares user data to conform to the nation's privacy laws. The enforcement follows an analysis led by European data protection authorities of a new privacy policy that Google enacted in 2012. France's privacy watchdog, the Commission Nationale de L'Informatique et des Libertes, in June ordered Google to comply with French data protection laws within three months. But Google had not changed its policies to comply with French laws by a deadline last week."
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Google May Face Fine Under EU Privacy Laws

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  • Google is about to get rapporteured. C'est la vie.

    • by pixelpusher220 (529617) on Monday September 30, 2013 @10:13AM (#44991675)
      EU: We're going to fine you
      Google: Just a sec...
      Google: Hello NSA? uh, anything you can do here?
      NSA: We knew you'd be calling...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 30, 2013 @09:43AM (#44991411)

    And would this be the same EU that has the data retention directive? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_Retention_Directive

    As bad as Google can get, it's a paragon of privacy compared to our Glorious Leaders.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      He pushed it through when UK had the EU Presidency.

      It established the principle that you are innocent now, but maybe in future you're not, ergo we require companies to track you. Move forward nearly a decade and that data is handed to a foreign spy agency who data mines it, and trades it with other countries in exchange for more data.

      Where's Tony Blair now? Well New York mostly, with his 30 pieces of silver.

  • Go, France! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    As this should be. No company should be allowed to store data on any person -- anywhere in the world -- without that persons' consent or knowledge. Time to take the big companies down a few notches.

    • by icebike (68054)

      As this should be. No company should be allowed to store data on any person -- anywhere in the world -- without that persons' consent or knowledge. Time to take the big companies down a few notches.

      What about the fact that everyone using Google Already Consented?

      Or what about the fact that the whole issue is not at all about what you say it is.

      Go do your homework.

      • by TheP4st (1164315)

        What about the fact that everyone using Google Already Consented?

        As in consented to a legalese riddled EULA that only a small minority understand and an even smaller group ever read, wherein Google reserve the right to change the conditions at any time, right? That people have consented in the legal meaning of the word doesn't mean that they ultimately know or understand how much of their privacy they have given away for the dubious benefit of becoming Google's product.

        • by icebike (68054)

          Ok, so French citizens can't read the EULA. Isn't that an indication that the French education system needs reform more than Google's very clear EULA? [google.com] I'm sure if your comment warranted it I could dig up the french version

          I mean, google's policy is written for the much lamented 8th grade education in US Public Schools. If the French can't read that then they probably don't use google's services anyway.

          • by TheP4st (1164315)
            I give you that as far as Terms of Service and Privacy Policy go Google have done an unusually good job on keeping it understandable, I haven't read the thing for about 8 years so it is possible that I remembered it wrong or that it since then have been simplified. However, that being said that does not alter the fact that many if not most people are unable to understand the legal implications nor the technical aspects in regards to privacy and how Google effectively track and store pretty much everything y
            • by TheP4st (1164315)
              This is a nice little gem from the International version of their ToS that clearly exemplifies my point about understanding the legal aspects. ( http://www.google.com/intl/en/policies/terms/ [google.com] )

              The laws of California, U.S.A., excluding California’s conflict of laws rules, will apply to any disputes arising out of or relating to these terms or the Services. All claims arising out of or relating to these terms or the Services will be litigated exclusively in the federal or state courts of Santa Clara County, California, USA, and you and Google consent to personal jurisdiction in those courts.

              So even if I am very well versed in the laws of my country that is of of no use for me to determine if it would even be worth the effort to start a litigation, as even if I would have good grounds in my home country that might not be the case in California.

              • by icebike (68054)

                How is this unusual?
                Don't French websites have the same provisions? How about France24 [france24.com] a popular news site:

                These Conditions of Use will be subject to and interpreted in accordance with French law. Any dispute which cannot be resolved by agreement will be referred to the courts of Nanterre. In the event that any of the provisions of the Conditions of Use is held to be null or void, the remaining provisions will automatically be deemed to apply.

                How about Russian web sites? Yandex for instance: [yandex.com]

                10.2. This Agreement shall be regulated and interpreted according to laws of the Russian Federation. Any issues not regulated hereby shall be settled according to Russian law. Any disputes arising out of relations regulated by this Agreement shall be settled as prescribed by applicable Russian laws according to Russian legal standards. In any part of this Agreement, unless otherwise stated, the term “law” shall mean laws of the Russian Federation as well as laws of the country of the User’s location.

                People choose these types of restrictions EVERY TIME they sign up or use any site. Its the same everywhere in the world. You play in their arena, you play by their rules. And its not like neither of those examples or 100 others have foreign offices. They both do.

                There is no reason Google should have to do anything other than that. The internationa

                • by ais523 (1172701)
                  Not every site does. For instance, I vaguely remembered that Microsoft EULAs have jurisdiction based on the country where you live, with the "you consent to jurisdiction in Washington" bit only applying to Americans. I checked the Terms of Service for Bing [microsoft.com], and I was right. (For instance, for Europeans, it uses Luxembourg law for breaches of the ToS specifically, and the local jurisdiction for other claims.) Microsoft seems to have local companies set up for the purpose of sorting out contracts with people
      • by Anonymous Coward

        ... everyone using Google Already Consented ...

        Since a EULA cannot be edited, it is really Google telling consumers the law doesn't apply to them. Agreeing that Google is above the law does not put Google above the law.

        • by icebike (68054)

          ... everyone using Google Already Consented ...

          Since a EULA cannot be edited, it is really Google telling consumers the law doesn't apply to them. Agreeing that Google is above the law does not put Google above the law.

          You're an idiot.

          Can you possibly imagine running a internet service where each user gets to pick their own terms? How would you possibly keep track of that?
          Do you even think for one minute before you rush in to post something?

      • by zsau (266209)

        G'day. Many of the webpages I use make requests to Google servers without my knowledge. In fact, unless I was using wget and basically manually downloading everything it's almost impossible to visit any contemporary web site and not let Google, or some other datamining third party, know. Even if you've got an adblocker turned on (because of things like jQuery hosting).

        It's extremely difficult to say that I consented. Rather, at most, you can say I failed to opt out; but opting out cuts you out of a huge par

  • Oh no!

    • by SirGarlon (845873)

      150K Euros is a slap on the wrist to a company Google's size, and almost certainly much less than the cost of coming into compliance.

      The question is, after Google ignores the rules and just pays the fine, what's CNIL's next step? How far can the dispute escalate?

  • chump change (Score:5, Informative)

    by schneidafunk (795759) on Monday September 30, 2013 @09:49AM (#44991465)

    FTA: " Google could be fined a maximum of €150,000 (US$202,562), or €300,000 for a second offense"

    • They are definitely going to drop the hammer on them in the future if they blow off the fine like it's nothing. This is definitely a stupid move on Google's part. They're probably going to end up losing all business in the country due to a country-wide ban if they keep being so stupid.
      • by icebike (68054)

        Yeah? that would hurt France more than Google.

        • by lgw (121541)

          I disagree - it could be a serious blow to Google. Google has nothing special, nothing competitors don't do well enough. No one has any loyalty to web services, the only way to keep your customers is to keep them from looking around. When the differences between services come down to subjective preferences (UI and whatnot), if your user base looks elsewhere, a significant percentage will discover they like another service better. At the scale of France, that's going to be a heck of a lot of people telli

          • by icebike (68054)

            Nothing special?

            Somehow 70% market share in search engine WITH a viable business plan makes the next closest competitor look sick by comparison.
            French companies would still advertise on Google even if google closed up shop in France entirely. They would just do it elsewhere. Its not that hard.

            But don't forget, most other search engines simply scrape Google [searchengineland.com]. So if Google makes your country go dark, its pretty much dark.

            • by lgw (121541)

              Do you actually think anyone has any loyalty to a search engine? If they get in the habit of using something else, it's not like they'll notice a difference.

              At least with email and web apps there are real differences noticeable to the non-technical user.

            • by zsau (266209)

              Do most other search engines just scrape Google? After reading the one you linked to and its follow up, I can conclude that Bing doesn't scrape Google (although they do use a combination of a search and a following page visit to raise the relevance of a pageâ"far from simple scraping and not particular to Google). But I have no idea about any other search engine, like Duck Duck Go for instance, because it didn't cover anything else.

              What's the point of providing a link if it only says in one case your s

    • FTA: " Google could be fined a maximum of €150,000 (US$202,562), or €300,000 for a second offense"

      TFA isn't clear if there's anything more than that on a 3rd, 4th . . . Nth offense. If the max is 450k, that's just a cost of doing business to them.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      That's probably cheaper than even asking Google's legal department for their opinion on this.

  • by Richy_T (111409) on Monday September 30, 2013 @10:40AM (#44991883) Homepage

    Anyone know how to prevent Android Device Manager being able to access my location anytime it feels like it?

    https://www.google.com/android/devicemanager [google.com]

    I'm on a Droid Razr Maxx.

    • by Richy_T (111409)

      To be clear, I don't want to disable location services completely. I just find this to be intrusive.

    • by swillden (191260)

      Anyone know how to prevent Android Device Manager being able to access my location anytime it feels like it?

      Find the Google Settings app (note that this is not the same as the "Settings" app -- that's general Android stuff, "Google Settings" is specific to the Google apps), open it, click on "Android Device Manager" and then uncheck "Remotely locate this device".

      Note that this means that if you use your device you will not be able to use Device Manager to find its GPS location. I think you'll still be able to use it to remotely ring, lock or erase the device, unless you disable that as well.

FORTRAN is a good example of a language which is easier to parse using ad hoc techniques. -- D. Gries [What's good about it? Ed.]

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