Google Allegedly Infringing Users' Privacy After Massive Fine for Previous Infraction

Google Allegedly Infringing Users' Privacy After Massive Fine for Previous Infraction

Less than three months after Google paid over the largest-ever US fine for violating users’ privacy, the Internet search giant is alleged to be infringing its users privacy once again — this time in Europe.

At issue, according to Reuters, is Google’s privacy policy, introduced in March and which “consolidated 60 privacy policies into one and pooled data collected on individual users across its services, including YouTube, Gmail and its social network Google+.” Users cannot opt out, and concern exists that where such a volume of data is consolidated, privacy risks that cannot be mitigated by users taking particular action at their own discretion are unavoidable.

The European Union is requesting that Google modify its privacy policy so that the manner in which users’ information is used is transparently disclosed and so that users explicitly agree to the combination of their data collected from different Google services.

Prior to this summer, when it ran into trouble in conjunction with its apparent undisclosed spying on users of its services who also use Apple products, Google had already been cited in the US for violating its users’ privacy in relation to Google+. 

Google is currently being investigated in both the EU and the US for potential anti-competitive behavior, separate to that at issue with regard to the privacy concerns raised. 

Politico also reported Monday that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has opened yet another investigation into Google’s “handling of key patents it picked up when the search giant acquired Motorola Mobility earlier this year.”

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