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Does Google Violate Data Laws? Dutch Data Protection Authority Says Yes

Does Google violate data laws? Dutch Data Protection Agency find that Google violated Dutch data protection laws by collecting users’ data for no clear purpose.

  • Dutch data protection laws do allow companies to collect data

  • How did Google violate data laws? By being unclear on their use

does google violate data laws

Does Google violate data laws?
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Google’s methods of combining a mass of personal data from its various online services was found to have violated Dutch data protection laws after it underwent a seven month long investigation.  While Google stated that it specified what the users’ data was collected for, the Dutch Data Protection Authority said that Google was not specific enough.

Allegations were made that Google was in breach of the country’s laws because it did not make clear that it was using the data a particular purpose or business goal, which is allowable by law.  It also failed to make enough of an attempt to gain the users’ permission for said data collection.

“Google spins an invisible web of our personal data, without consent. That is forbidden by law,”  said Jacob Kohnstamm, DPA chairman in a statement.

Google answered by stating it would provide users with better information on what the data being collected would be used for.  They also claimed that their privacy policy “respects European law and allows us to create simpler, more effective services.”

There are concerns across Europe about the growing popularity of cloud storage, and the mass amount of personal information stored in areas that appear to have no apparent jurisdiction.  “The report said it was “almost impossible” for a Dutch Internet user not to interact with Google “be it via Search, YouTube or Maps, or passively through third-party websites,” reports Reuters.

Six European countries have commenced investigations since Google’s March 2012 privacy policy change which affected all sites connected with it.  The fines are expected to be low.

 

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