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Google has three months to do so

France is giving Google two options when it comes up to its privacy policy: make changes, or pay up. 

French data protection watchdog CNIL told Google that it has three months to make changes to its privacy policy -- which violates French laws -- or pay a fine of up to 150,000 euros ($201,000 USD). 

If Google still fails to change its policy, it'll be slapped with another fine of 300,000 euros. 

CNIL has been looking into Google's privacy policy since it launched in March 2012. At that time, Google decided to combine its 60 privacy policies into one. It also pooled data collected across different services together without allowing users to opt out. 

Google said it combined the privacy policies into one so that users could locate it and understand it more easily. 

[Image Source:]

CNIL also said that Britain, Italy, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands were taking action against Google's consolidated privacy policy as well, which means Google could get hit with fines worth "several million euros," according to Reuters

"By the end of July, all the authorities within the [EU data protection] task force will have taken coercive action against Google," said CNIL President Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin.

Google hasn't had an easy time with the EU lately. The European Commission opened a formal antitrust investigation into Google's possible abuse of search dominance as well as using results to its own advantage in November 2010. It suggested that Google make changes to its search results back in May 2012. The investigation was finally settled in April of this year.

In January of this year, Google managed to escape a two-year U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) investigation with no fines. The investigation looked into Google's possible abuse of search dominance as well by using results to its own advantage.

Source: CNIL

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By Motoman on 6/20/2013 11:54:18 AM , Rating: 2
Google doesn't care about a fine of "several million Euros."

If you want them to care, you'd have to fine them several million Euros...a day. At least. Or just give a due-by date for changes and an instant $1 billion fine if they miss the date by a fraction of a second.

Why these countries bother threatening a massive corporation like Google with such tiny penalties is beyond me.

RE: Newsflash
By zozzlhandler on 6/20/2013 12:08:07 PM , Rating: 3
The reason is simple. Bureaucrats have to justify their existence, or else the people might wake up to how useless and parasitic they are. "I levied fines of $10,000,000 last year" is a pretty good justification for a bureaucrat.

RE: Newsflash
By BRB29 on 6/20/2013 12:35:17 PM , Rating: 2
EU politician 1: Guys guys!, put down the pipe. We're broke again!

EU politician 2: How are we going to pay the debt this time?

EU politician 1: Let's just fine Microsoft or Google again because they're American.

EU politician 2: Good idea lad. What are we going to get them for this time.

EU politician 1: NSA spying is still the rage. Let's hit them up with privacy policy.

EU politician 2: Right you are! We should just get them for $10mil euro so they pay up instantly instead of dragging through court for years.

EU politician 1: You are so brilliant. I will drink wine in remembrance of Jesus.

RE: Newsflash
By Motoman on 6/20/2013 1:03:27 PM , Rating: 2
You are so brilliant. I will drink wine in remembrance of Jesus.


RE: Newsflash
By rs2 on 6/20/2013 8:40:26 PM , Rating: 3
What's funny about Catholicism?

RE: Newsflash
By Jeffk464 on 6/20/2013 11:32:34 PM , Rating: 2
Virgin marry mold stains.

RE: Newsflash
By Motoman on 6/21/2013 12:26:36 AM , Rating: 3
Just the cadence there and the great insertion of the non-sequitur. Granted that you have to imagine it as a discussion between two stuffy British guys.

RE: Newsflash
By Farfignewton on 6/20/2013 2:38:15 PM , Rating: 2
Why these countries bother threatening a massive corporation like Google with such tiny penalties is beyond me.

Maybe they're hoping google will set up a direct deposit account? You know, like, fines as a service? ;)

RE: Newsflash
By KCjoker on 6/20/2013 6:14:21 PM , Rating: 2
Because if they fine them too much they're afraid of them doing less business there.

RE: Newsflash
By ShieTar on 6/21/2013 8:19:29 AM , Rating: 2
Because European laws are not customized to hurt Google. The court fines them what the laws suggest to fine any kind of corporation caught breaking this kind of law on this scale.

If Bill Gates is caught speeding, he does not get a 100 million $ ticket either, even if he does not care about the 200$ it will cost him.

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