Dutch privacy watchdog threatens Google with €15m ($18.6m) fine

Google has been threatened with a €15m ($18.6m) fine by the Dutch privacy watchdog, CBP, for privacy breaches. The CBP said Google's efforts to combine information about users to better target ads is in breach of Dutch privacy legislation as Google did not inform nor seek users' permission. Google said it is disappointed with CBP's actions, but it will work with the watchdog,

Since 2002, information about users from Gmail, Google maps, YouTube and search results has been combined into a single profile allowing Google to better target its advertising. However, CBP said Google hasn't properly informed its users about the change, nor sought their permission.

Dutch watchdog chief Jacob Kohnstamm said "Google continues to make great, innovative, happy products but don’t fool us by collecting our personal info behind our backs.", and that Britain, Germany, Spain and Italy privacy regulators are also taking action against Google.

Google was disappointed with CBP's actions, but said it made a string of proposals to privacy regulators, saying "We are looking forward to discussing them in the short term."

Google's relations with European countries has been rocky recently. Last month, the European Parliament voted to break Google up into two companies. The Parliament doesn't have the power to enforce the break up, but the vote may encourage the European Commission to act, which does have the powers to force the break up of Google.

Source: DutchNews

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