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Google fined by Spanish data protection agency

Pay €900,000, do not bypass local rules
Fri Dec 20 2013, 10:53
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SEARCH, ADVERTISING AND WEB FIRM Google has been fined €900,000 by the Spanish Data Protection Agency and been told to fall in line with local rules.

According to the Agencia Española de Protección de Datos (AEPD) Google is backwards at coming forwards when explaining what it sees in customer browsing and what it does with that information.

It found that Google runs roughshod over local users' data and treats it in a way that could be considered illegal. The AEPD found that even casual visitors to its pages – people who aren't logged into Google services – were also affected.

"The Spanish Data Protection Agency declares illegal processing of personal data carried out by Google in the framework of its new privacy policy," it said.

"The AEPD verified that Google does not give users enough information about what data they collect and for what purposes uses them, that Google combines those data gathered through various services, keeps them for an indefinite time and makes difficult the exercise of the rights of the citizens".

Google has broken three parts of Spanish law, it said, and will be fined €300,000 for each incident. The Spanish DPA called its practices a "serious violation" of data protection law.

"The Agency considers that Google seriously violates the right to the protection of personal data laid down in article 18 of the Spanish Constitution and regulated in the LOPD [Organic Law of the Protection of Personal Data]"

Google, which has been similarly challenged in France and the UK, said that it has worked with the agency and will consider its report and its response carefully.

"We've engaged fully with the Spanish Data Protection Agency throughout this process to explain our privacy policy and how it allows us to create simpler, more effective services, and we'll continue to do so," Google said in a statement. "We'll be reading their report closely to determine next steps." µ


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