Spain levies $1.23 million fine against Google over privacy policies

Dec. 19, 2013 at 7:59 PM
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MADRID, Dec. 19 (UPI) -- Spain has levied its maximum possible fine against Google, saying the search giant's merged privacy policy broke the country's laws.

The $1.23 million fine -- which would represent just a few minutes of Google's earnings -- comes as the company is under increasing pressure from European authorities and local governments over its privacy policies and business practices, ZDNet reported Thursday.

At least six countries began investigating when Google changed its privacy policy in March 2012 to allow data from one of its series to be shared with any of its others.

"Inspections have shown that Google compiles personal information through close to one hundred services and products it offers in Spain, without providing in many cases the adequate information about the data that is being gathered, why it is gathered and without obtaining the consent of the owners," a statement from the Spanish Agency for Data Protection said.

Google violated users' "right to the protection of personal data laid down in article 18 of the Spanish Constitution and regulated in the LOPD [Law on the Protection of Personal Data]," the agency said.

Google said it was examining the agency's report to determine its response.

"We've engaged fully with the Spanish" authorities "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 an emailed statement.

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