The Spanish Data Protection Agency slapped Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) with a 900,000 euro ($1.2 million) fine today for alleged illegal data collection practices. Google, along with other major Internet-related companies, has been under pressure in Europe and elsewhere regarding their data collection policies as well as alleged cooperation with NSA spying.


Statement from the agency

The statement from Spain’s Agencia Española de Protección de Datos did not pull any punches in its blunt assessment of Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s violations. “The Spanish Data Protection Agency declares illegal processing of personal data carried out by Google in the framework of its new privacy policy.”

“The AEPD verified that Google does not give users enough information about what data they collect and for what purposes uses them, that Google combines those data gathered through various services, keeps them for an indefinite time and makes difficult the exercise of the rights of the citizens.”

The statement continued to say that Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has violated three aspects of the law, and will be fined €300,000 for each incident. The agency labeled the search engine company’s data collection policies a “serious violation” of data protection law. “The Agency considers that Google seriously violates the right to the protection of personal data laid down in article 18 of the Spanish Constitution and regulated in the LOPD [Organic Law of the Protection of Personal Data]”

Google’s reply

Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is facing similar data privacy-related legal challenges in other European countries. It said in a statement that it was working with the AEPD and will carefully consider the agency’s report. “We’ve engaged fully with the Spanish Data Protection Agency throughout this process to explain our privacy policy and how it allows us to create simpler, more effective services, and we’ll continue to do so. We’ll be reading their report closely to determine next steps.”