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Google Won't Comply With European Data Protection Policies

Big Data Beats Big Government

Your Google searches, as innocent as they may seem, reveal a lot more about yourself than you would like. Since 2012, Google has been using this to its advantage, profiling its users across all the services that it offers such as YouTube, Gmail, Google Maps or Google+. These profiles are used to show you adverts catered especially for you. Sounds a bit creepy doesn't it? 

From your idle googling, Google can guess a lot about you: your location, your preferences, your financial and social status and even your sexual orientation. Google provides no way of controlling what information you want used to sell you stuff and that is why it has been seriously criticized by European countries.

While Google doesn't care about your right to privacy, European countries do. Google violates more than a few European country's policies about privacy online and had been asked many times to change them so users can decide for themselves if they want Google to use information about them. The French CNIL (Commission National de l’Informatique et des Libertes) has already fined Google for violating privacy and not complying with European and French policies. France is not the only country to do so and many European countries are investigating Google's privacy settings. Germany is the latest one to warn Google that it is violating its Telemedia Act and Federal Data Protection Act. 

The complaint comes from a German representative part of a European task force examining Google's privacy policy. They have demanded that Google ask its users consent to have their information used but also that Google be more transparent about how the data is being processed and used. According to Google, profiling is just another great service it provides to make your online experience better by catering to what it thinks you like and need. Google assures it users that it won't sell your personal information and won't share it without your permission.

This will not be enough for European countries but it is easy to assume that their threats will be ignored and all the fines will be paid. It will take more than a few warnings or fines to bring the giant corporation to its knees. However, if Europe were to decide on banning Google till it changed its policies, no one would stand behind them. 

Google might not be the only internet giant to come under fire by European countries. Facebook has announced that its tailored ads would not only appear on Facebook but on all web pages you visit. If that isn't a massive violation of user's privacy, I don't know what is. 

Laura is a recent graduate from University of East Anglia in Film and Television Studies, currently interning as a content writer but hoping to one day live off her writing. Follow her @LauraAtSMF.

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Google Won't Comply With European Data Protection Policies Reviewed by Anonymous on Friday, October 03, 2014 Rating: 5
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