Google faces fine from French data regulatorFriday 27 September 2013 17.44
Google faces a fine for failing to make changes to its privacy policies sought by French regulators.
Google informed France’s data-privacy regulator that it contested findings that its policies were not in compliance with national rules the country’s data protection watchdog known as CNIL, said.
In June, the regulator gave Google a three-month deadline to comply with the requested modifications.
Google faces probes across Europe over changes to harmonise privacy policies for more than 60 products last year.
Global data-protection regulators in June wrote to the Mountain View, California-based company urging Chief Executive Officer Larry Page to contact them about possible issues with its web-enabled eyeglasses, called Google Glass.
The data regulator will now appoint someone to start a formal sanctions procedure, CNIL said.
CNIL can levy a maximum fine of €150,000, and €300,000 in case of a repeated offense, Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin, chairwoman of the French authority, said in June.
Other regulators may impose sanctions of up to €1 million, potentially exposing Google to “several million euros” of fines on top of damaging its image, she said.
A spokesman for Britain’s Information Commissioner’s Office said it is still reviewing Google’s response.
Data protection regulators from the 28-nation EU, that make up the so-called Article 29 Data Protection Working Party, wrote to Google Chief Executive Officer Larry Page last October, saying the company “empowers itself to collect vast amounts of personal data about Internet users” without demonstrating that this “collection was proportionate,” and asking the company to bring its policy in line with EU rules.