Watchdog: Google breaching Dutch privacy law

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A privacy watchdog said Thursday that Google has been breaching Dutch law on personal data protection since it introduced a new privacy policy last year.

Jacob Kohnstamm, chairman of the College for the Protection of Personal Data, said that Google's combining of data from different services, including surfing multiple websites, to tailor ads and personalize services like YouTube "spins an invisible web of our personal information, without our permission, and that is outlawed."

In a statement, the watchdog said Google, "does not adequately inform users about the combining of their from all these different services."

It added that consent, required by Dutch law, for the combining of personal data from different Google services "cannot be obtained by accepting general (privacy) terms of service."

Google spokesman Al Verney said the company's "respects European law and allows us to create simpler, more effective services."

Kohnstamm's organization said it has invited Google to a hearing, after which the watchdog will decide on possible enforcement action.

Verney said Google had "engaged fully" with the Dutch investigation and would continue to do so.

The Netherlands is one of six European nations investigating Google's privacy policy along with France, Spain, Germany, Britain and Italy.

Spain's Data Protection Agency said in June that it had initiated sanction proceedings after initial investigations showed Google Spain and Google Inc. may be committing six infractions against the country's law. It said the company could also face fines of up to 300,000 euros ($408,000).


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Nov 28, 2013
just another money grab by another broke government

Nov 29, 2013
It's vital that nations protect citizens' privacy, no question. But over compensation stalls common sense progress. Bottom line - any nations that don't like it can find alternatives to all those Google services as well as Android and YouTube. Have fun with that.

Nov 29, 2013
Just another case of a corporation exploiting people, and a government pretending to be able to do something about it.

Nov 29, 2013
just another money grab by another broke government


- I'd hardly call a government of a top-10 richest country in the world 'broke"
- this agency works independently from the government.
- if money is grabbed it would mean the mission to maintain privacy has failed.

How does your government protect your privacy? It seems you and Nowhere have already given up on this human right. Consider the thought that some of those European watchdogs have done more for your privacy protection than your own government.


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