Google will have to pay £12m fine if it does not alter its privacy policy: DPA

Dutch data protection watchdogs have warned Google it will face fines if it doesn’t alter its privacy policy. Google has been threatened with a fine of up to 15m euros (£12m) if it does not do a better job of protecting the privacy of Dutch citizens.

Two years ago, Google changed  the privacy policies of its services including Google Search, Gmail, Google Drive, Google Docs, YouTube, and Google Maps, thereby gaining personal information about people using the search engine, Gmail, other Google accounts or even just accessing a website that places or reads cookies from Google. This is violation of the Dutch Data Protection Act (known as the WPB).

According to study published in CBP (College Bescherming Persoonsgegevens) , Google combining personal data of Internet users, including the display of personalized advertisements. This refers not only to people who are logged into a Google account, but also to people who use the search engine, or people who visit a site on which cookies from Google are placed and read.

For example, data searches, location data, viewed videos and e-mails can be combined with each other while the various services all serve different purposes. This happens without Google Internet will inform well in advance and without the company asking for this permission. This is in conflict with the law.

“Google captures us in an invisible web of our personal information without telling us that and without asking our permission. This has been running since 2012 and we hope that our patience will no longer be put to the test, ” said President Jacob Kohnstamm.

According to BBC, A Google representative said

“We’re disappointed with the Dutch data protection authority’s order, especially as we have already made a number of changes to our privacy policy in response to their concerns.

“However, we’ve recently shared some proposals for further changes with the European privacy regulators group, and we look forward to discussing with them soon.”

Google has been given until late February 2015 to alter the privacy according the CBP’s changes in order to comply with Dutch law, after which time the CBP will begin an investigation into whether Google has met all of its requirements or not.