Google is On Europe’s Radar Again

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) has received a fresh warning from European regulators for collecting amounts of personal user data that may not be “proportionate”.  The warning was in response to an investigation conducted under the purview of France’s national commission for computing and civil liberties, or CNIL.

Google “empowers itself to collect vast amounts of personal data about Internet users” without proving that this “collection was proportionate,” the privacy regulators said in a letter addressed to chief executive Larry Page. “Google should modify its practices when combining data across services” and clarify why and how it processes the data, the letter said, according to Bloomberg.

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The search company has previously faced similar questions across the European Union, including an investigation of its Street View mapping service. Google was fined 100,000 euros, or $129,000, last year after it was found that the company’s cars collected information from unrestricted Wi-Fi networks while taking photographs of streets, business, and residences.

Earlier this year, Google, facing increased competition for users and advertisers from rivals such as Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) decided to change its system of regulations and create a uniform set of policies for more than 60 of the company’s products, a move that was highly criticized by regulators and consumer advocates. Monday’s letter asked Google to work with data-protection authorities while modifying services that affect user privacy. The CNIL also wants the company to provide a schedule for when it “will update its privacy policy and practices to implement our recommendations.” While the regulators are “happy” that Google responded to previous written public questioning, “grey areas still remain.”

The CNIL has the authority to impose fines for non-compliance.

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