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EU Google Privacy

EU Commissioner Renews Call for Serious Fines in Data Privacy Laws 162

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the except-when-the-state-does-it dept.
DW100 writes "Despite Google being fined €900,000 by Spanish authorities and €150,000 in France for its controversial privacy policies in recent months, an EU commissioner has admitted this is mere 'pocket money' to the company. Instead, a new legal regime that would have seen Google fined $1bn for breaching data protection laws is needed to make U.S. companies fear and respect the law in Europe. 'Is it surprising to anyone,' asked Commissioner Viviane Reding, 'that two whole years after the case emerged, it is still unclear whether Google will amend its privacy policy or not? Europeans need to get serious. And that is why our reform introduces stiff sanctions that can reach as much as 2% of the global annual turnover of a company. In the Google case, that would have meant a fine of EUR 731 million (USD 1 billion). A sum much harder to brush off.'"
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EU Commissioner Renews Call for Serious Fines in Data Privacy Laws

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  • Hypocrites (Score:5, Interesting)

    by EmperorArthur (1113223) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @01:16AM (#46021675)

    The EU is also responsible for the Data Retention Directive [wikipedia.org]. Worse, most of their spy agencies are just as bad as the NSA. When you combine that with the lack of free speech in many EU countries it doesn't paint a pretty picture.

    They're going to force companies to keep user data on EU soil. Which sounds nice, but that means they can force companies to keep your data for as long as they want and hand it all over to "law enforcement" when you've done something inconvenient. They will then have things like search results censored. (See Google France) I hate to say it, but people in the EU have even less privacy than those of us in the US. Even with/especially because of these privacy directives.

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @02:09AM (#46021919)

    Not legal. When it comes to the question whether something "illegal" is done by a company, three things get taken into consideration:

    1. What it costs to avoid the fine (or the profit to be had by ignoring the law, respectively)
    2. Amount to pay when you get caught.
    3. Chance to get caught.

    That's it. And before someone asks, yes, risk management is part of my job, and these are essentially the considerations when it comes to laws. More and more often law changes get dumped on my desk rather than legal because we no longer avoid breaking the law by default, we check whether it pays to break it.

    You'd be surprised how often it does...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @03:43AM (#46022199)

    That's it. And before someone asks, yes, risk management is part of my job, and these are essentially the considerations when it comes to laws. More and more often law changes get dumped on my desk rather than legal because we no longer avoid breaking the law by default, we check whether it pays to break it.

    Holy shit. You should check that policy with legal. The laws might be different in different countries but where I live I am pretty sure that if you intentionally and willingly break the law you are no longer protected as a worker at a company and can be held personally accountable.
    The protection a company gets is there for the kind of negligence that can happen when many people think "someone else will take care of that" and such, not to protect calculated organized crime.
    Your policy can actually put you in jail. (And for a very long time depending on what your company does.)
    Actually, I wouldn't check with the company lawyers. Check this with a private lawyer.

  • Protectionism? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by fyngyrz (762201) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @05:38AM (#46022567) Homepage Journal

    Protectionism, yeah! It's worked so well!

    [looks around] notes missing steel industry, almost dead car industry, Detroit, electronics industry, retreating engineering industry, small widget manufacturing, semiconductor manufacture, computer manufacture, clothing manufacture... I'm really not sure that open trade has worked out that well, frankly. For that matter, in the intellectual areas where we maintained some presence for a little longer... not so much today. Companies think nothing of outsourcing anything they can, and countries like India are happy to fill those roles. Of course, we're still pushing paperwork around on Wall street and etc., and we have basic food commodities and some oil resources, but we're really not doing that well overall.

    Within our borders, we have a large workforce, many of whom are unemployed, a large market, and immense natural resources, all within our borders. Economically speaking, it seems to me that a round of protectionism might not be a bad idea at all at this juncture.

He: Let's end it all, bequeathin' our brains to science. She: What?!? Science got enough trouble with their OWN brains. -- Walt Kelly

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