Spain watchdog fines Google for privacy 'violations' (Update)

Dec 19, 2013
The Google website for Spain on a laptop in a cafe in Granada on June 11, 2008

Spain's data protection watchdog ordered US Internet giant Google on Thursday to pay a 900,000-euro fine for "serious violations" of users' privacy.

The Spanish Data Protection Agency accused the popular search provider of "illegal processing of personal data" obtained from users of various services such as Google email accounts.

"Google unlawfully collects and processes personal information" of users, the agency said in a statement.

"The agency considers that Google seriously violates the right to the protection of personal data."

It ordered Google to pay 300,000 euros ($410,000) for each of three counts of breaching Spain's data protection law and ordered it to bring its privacy policy in line with legal norms.

It said Google's privacy policy did not clearly inform users of how it uses data collected, for example information from emails that is gathered to generate targeted advertising.

It also accused Google of keeping the data for longer than is legally justified and of making it difficult for users to query the use of their data.

Google has repeatedly stated that its privacy policy respects European law, despite investigations in several countries.

The Spanish authority launched proceedings against Google in June. In September, France too said it would take action against the company, accusing it of breaching privacy norms.

Authorities in Germany, Italy, The Netherlands and Britain have also opened parallel procedures against Google.

Like other technology giants, Google has come under scrutiny following revelations by US whistleblower Edward Snowden of online eavesdropping by US and other intelligence agencies.

Explore further: Watchdog: Google breaching Dutch privacy law

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Spain opens privacy case against Google

Jun 20, 2013

Spain launched sanction proceedings against Google Inc. on Thursday for suspected serious breaches of data protection laws, acting just hours after France threatened the group with big fines.

Recommended for you

'SwaziLeaks' looks to shake up jet-setting monarchy

12 hours ago

As WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange prepares to end a two-year forced stay at Ecuador's London embassy, he may take comfort in knowing he inspired resistance to secrecy in places as far away as Swaziland.

Ecuador heralds 'digital currency' plans

12 hours ago

Ecuador is planning to create the world's first government-issued digital currency, which some analysts believe could be a first step toward abandoning the country's existing currency, the U.S. dollar, which ...

WEF unveils 'crowdsourcing' push on how to run the Web

Aug 28, 2014

The World Economic Forum unveiled a project on Thursday aimed at connecting governments, businesses, academia, technicians and civil society worldwide to brainstorm the best ways to govern the Internet.

Study: Social media users shy away from opinions

Aug 26, 2014

People on Facebook and Twitter say they are less likely to share their opinions on hot-button issues, even when they are offline, according to a surprising new survey by the Pew Research Center.

User comments : 0