Google Inc (GOOG) Faces Fine For Breaching Dutch Privacy Laws

Google Inc (GOOG) Faces Fine For Breaching Dutch Privacy Laws
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Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) may be charged with a fine for violating a Dutch data protection law, according to a privacy regulator in the Netherlands. The case marks a fresh example of how the European authorities are determined to safeguard their internet users interest against internet companies, says a report from The Wall Street Journal.

Google collects user data improperly

According to the College Bescherming Persoonsgegevens (CBP), Google collects personal data using its different services, like its namesake search engine and YouTube, without the consent of users or taking their permission. Apart from gathering data, Google provides only limited information to the users on the purpose and the method of collection of data.

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“Google spins an invisible web of our personal data, without our consent. And that is forbidden by law”, said Jacob Kohnstamm, the CBP’s chairman, in a press release.

Many countries may fine Google

The Dutch regulator said that the Google has been invited to take further investigation and decide upon the actions to be taken thereafter. The probable actions could include compensation or fine.

Apart from Netherlands, five other European countries are also probing their privacy laws concerning Google, following a pan-European investigation earlier in 2012.

Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has settled the case in Spain by paying a fine up to €1.5 million. In Italy, the giant web service might have to pay €1.2 million, while in the German city of Hamburg, fines could total €1 million, according to regulators.

Earlier in September, France data protection regulators opened proceedings against Google where the company may have to pay fines, saying that Google did not follow the order to change its policies regarding user data.

Fines not a worry

Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) said in a statement that its privacy laws do not violate European law. The internet company stated it is in contact with the Dutch DPA throughout the process and will continue to do so in the future.

Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) would have to pay a fine if it fails to abide by the law of these countries. However, even if Google pays the fine charged by all the countries for breaching the privacy laws, it will hardly affect the company’s cash position. For the first quarter of this year, Google posted revenue of $14 billion, and a major contribution was from the targeted advertising for which the user data is collected.

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Aman is MBA (Finance) with an experience on both Marketing and Finance side. He has worked as a Risk Analyst for AIR Worldwide, and is currently leading VeRa FinServ, a Financial Research firm. Favorite pastimes include watching science fiction movies, reviewing tech gadgets, playing PC games and cricket. - Email him at
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