Dear Visitor,

Our system has found that you are using an ad-blocking browser add-on.

We just wanted to let you know that our site content is, of course, available to you absolutely free of charge.

Our ads are the only way we have to be able to bring you the latest high-quality content, which is written by professional journalists, with the help of editors, graphic designers, and our site production and I.T. staff, as well as many other talented people who work around the clock for this site.

So, we ask you to add this site to your Ad Blocker’s "white list" or to simply disable your Ad Blocker while visiting this site.

Continue on this site freely
You are here: Home / Customer Data / Google Up Against Dutch Regulators
Google Runs Afoul of Dutch Regulators
Google Runs Afoul of Dutch Regulators
By Jef Cozza / CRM Daily Like this on Facebook Tweet this Link thison Linkedin Link this on Google Plus
Less than a week after shutting down its news service operations in Spain due to what it said were unsustainable fee requirements, Google has been hit with a fine from another European agency. This time, it's a Dutch privacy watchdog levying a penalty payment of up to 15 million euros ($18.6 million) for failure to live up to the country’s privacy requirements.

The Dutch Data Protection Authority (Dutch DPA) said that the infringements against the Netherlands’ privacy law stems from changes that Google made to its privacy policy in 2012. The agency has requested that the global search company make several changes to its privacy policy if it wants to avoid the charge.

An Invisible Web

At the heart of the Dutch DPA’s complaint is its assertion that Google routinely combines information on users from a variety of sources to create behavioral profiles that it uses to target ads.

Google might combine information about terms that a user searched for, along with cookies from third-party Web sites that serve Google cookies, location data from its Google Maps mobile app, videos watched on YouTube, and information contained in personal e-mails, according to the watchdog. Users may not even be logged into their Google accounts, and may therefore be unaware how closely the company is tracking them.

“Google catches us in an invisible web of our personal data without telling us and without asking us for our consent,” said Jacob Kohnstamm, chairman of the Dutch DPA. “This has been ongoing since 2012 and we hope our patience will no longer be tested.”

Unambiguous Consent

The Dutch DPA is asking Google to make three changes to its privacy policy. First, it wants Google to get unambiguous consent from its users regarding combining personal data from different Google services. That might require Google to explain its practice in a separate screen. Including information about the practice in its general terms and conditions would not be considered sufficient, according to the Dutch authorities.

Second, Google will have to clarify information contained in its privacy policy to provide a clearer idea on what types of personal data, and from which Google services, can be combined together for the purposes of ad targeting.

Finally, the Dutch DBA wants Google to provide users with clear indications that YouTube is a Google service. However, the agency did acknowledge that Google appeared to have already addressed that issue, at least in the Netherlands.

The Netherlands is only the latest European country Google has butted heads with recently. In addition to Spain’s efforts to force it to pay Spanish news publications for the right to use their headlines and link to their stories, data protection authorities in Germany, France, Italy and the U.K. have all launched investigations into Google's efforts to protect users’ data. The Dutch DPA has given Google until the end of February 2015 to comply with its requests, at which point it will reevaluate its compliance efforts.

Image credit: Google; Artist's concept.

Tell Us What You Think


Posted: 2014-12-15 @ 3:24pm PT
I love the Dutch DPA! Finally a regulator that does something sensible to counter the big spies!

Like Us on FacebookFollow Us on Twitter
© Copyright 2018 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.