Google Inc. (GOOG) Doesn’t Know ‘Privacy’ in French, or Italian, or Dutch …

Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) has pretty much made no friends in the various government bodies of the European Union. It seems, by the headlines anyway, that Google just might be the most scrutinized tech company on the EU block – with possible exceptions being the occasional wave of intense interest in Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). While Google has been facing a fine for some of its antitrust practices recently, the company’s privacy and data security  models have also seen their share of investigation.

Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)Now, a year-old privacy policy is getting up European dander. About this time a year go, Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) decided to streamline itself by combining some 59 different privacy policies into one single broad policy to go across all Google websites and properties. While the goal was to establish some consistency and clarity, several European authorities are questioning the policy and several countries have now launched their own local investigations and all may perhaps fine the company separately for possible  user privacy violations.

The French data-protection authority, CNIL, has claimed to have requested that Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) make some changes to its privacy policy but the requests have gone unheeded. Now, the authority is forwarding information onto other countries like Spain, Italy, Germany, the U.K. and the Netherlands to conduct their own separate investigations into possible violations of their respective privacy laws. As apparently the investigations have started, no authority is making any comment about the part or parts of the policy that they are investigating, nor are they commenting on the privacy laws that might be violated by this policy.

So we are all in the dark at this point, other than to know that when the policy was put in place, the Article 29 Working party – an EU data-protection group – did an audit of the policy and noted some “irregularities” and gave CNIL the charge of investigating whether there were EU privacy protection law violations. As now the CNIL has forwarded its information to separate countries for their own review seems to indicate that the EU itself  may not be seeking violations, but there may be violations of laws in the member countries. Each country, if it finds Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) in violation, would fine the company separately and not through the EU.

Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) was invited to a meeting with CNIL and other data-protection entities in the member countries to discuss the policy and possible changes, but no changes have been noted two weeks after the meeting, sources said.

Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)What are your thoughts about this? Is Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) just a target due to its 90-percent market dominance in European search? Is there more to this? Let us know in the comments section below.

DISCLOSURE: I own no positions in any stock mentioned.

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