European Countries Not Putting up with Google’s Privacy Policies

This article expresses that the six largest European markets (France, Spain, Italy, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Germany) have announced to take joint legal action against Google over their privacy policies. This action was taken after Google’s decision last year to consolidate more than seventy privacy policy into a single one, and after they decided to change their terms of service agreement. Google did not comply with EU data protection authorities’ recommendations, and did not follow up after a meeting with representatives of the six nations, leading to an investigation on Google by these nations. This could lead to fines for Google and/or possibly the banning of Google services in these countries until changes are made.

 

I think this article really goes to show that people aren’t going to tolerate Google’s abuse of information gathering. I also think it is good that these countries are calling attention to these abuses, as I don’t think many average users of Google services know how much data they are giving away. Although Google may be fined by these countries, I don’t think they will impact Google so much. From what I understand, the fines that could be imposed would barely be able to put a dent in Google’s economic infrastructure. I think the greatest impact that these nations could have on Google will stem from the public awareness that they are raising and the possible bans that could be put in place. I think if they go through with the ban in those markets, we could very well see a much more “tame” Google in terms of the user’s privacy. I think it is good that these countries are doing this because Google needs to be brought back down to Earth before they go overboard and severely damage the privacy of every individual.

2 Responses to European Countries Not Putting up with Google’s Privacy Policies

  1. PMazzarella24

    I cannot see any real change coming about from the six countries pressing charges. With billions in revenue, charging Google with fines ranging in hundreds of thousands of dollars is not going to change much. They will find another way to violate its user’s privacy until they are charged again thus repeating the entire cycle. Even if the EU bans Google until they make the appropriate changes to the user license agreements they will have public outcry because of the government banning these services. As the article mentioned Google has 95% of the search engine market and I know a lot of people who would be more upset about blocked access to their Google services than Google collecting data on them. Not everyone feels the same way about their privacy rights which is sad but terribly true.

    The only way I could see there be any real change is how you had mentioned: educate and inform. Through informational campaigns there could be real change by letting the public know what Google is currently doing regarding privacy violations. As we involve more of our lives online I believe the gray area will shrink and there will be finer lines and regulation that large companies like Google will have to adhere to. There just needs to be enough support for this to happen.

  2. I think it’s interesting to see governments standing up to Google’s seemingly “invasive” use of data mining. On a person to person basis one might think that with Google being such a huge company, that there would not really be anything that one person could do to change things, but with these 6 governments calling Google out, perhaps it could be different? But as the article said, Google seems to take these fines as a sort of “cost of business” and never seems to make large scale changes because of them.
    On the subject of these European countries blocking the services of Google, it makes me wonder how much of a public outcry that could cause. Think about Google in the US. Most everyone one way or another uses Google services every day. I use G-mail for my work and for school. If it got shut down it would be a real headache for me to update all these different uses to a different email account. Anyways it just makes me wonder what kind of effect that would have on the public in those countries and whether or not there would be enough of a public outcry that the governments might be forced to unblock Google services.

    It should be interesting to see what happens.