Google faces a huge fine for allegedly violating privacy rules

23 Mai, 2019, 06:28 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • GDPR, USA? Microsoft says US should match the EU's digital privacy law

The developers of an app called Brave Browser were among those claiming that Google is not playing by GDPR rules when it collects personal data for advertisers.

It is now a year since GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) rules came into effect in Europe, and on this anniversary, Microsoft is starting a conversation about bringing similar privacy regulation to the US.

Now there are multiple state laws on data privacy including California's Consumer Privacy Act and Illinois' Biometric Information Privacy Act but no action has been taken on the federal level even after several senators have proposed their own bills.

The company's corporate vice president and deputy general counsel, Julie Brill explained in a blog post that consumers' understanding of their right to privacy has been a driving force behind the global movement to modernize privacy laws.

Google says it will cooperate fully with the DPC investigation, and it already has strong privacy controls. California is the largest USA state by population, accounting for more than 10% of the total U.S. population.

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Brill highlights how the current opt-in versus opt-out privacy options for United States consumers forces them to make a decision for every site and online service they visit, which places an "unreasonable - and unworkable - burden on individuals".

According to courageous chief policy officer, Johnny Ryan, when a person visits a website and is shown a "behavioral" ad, Google broadcasts intimate personal data to tens or hundreds of companies to aid in targeted advertising. French data regulator CNIL has had something of a head start, fining Google €50 million for "lack of transparency, inadequate information and lack of valid consent regarding ads personalization" in January. The company will face fines of up to 4% of its global revenue if the DPC founds it guilty of infringing GDPR, which would also require the tech giant to change the way its ad business works - at least in Europe.

"Federal law must also include strong enforcement provisions". And Google is not the only tech firm under investigation by the DPC.

"For American businesses, interoperability between USA law and GDPR will reduce the cost and complexity of compliance by ensuring that companies don't have to build separate systems to meet differing - and even conflicting - requirements for privacy protection in the countries where they do business", said Brill.

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