Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is going through a rough patch about now. It seems that Google is having a hard time breaking through or growing in several places. Not the least of which is the European Union and Scandinavia, which have both expressed great concern over some of Google’s business practices, including the company’s data-collection system, its relative lack of privacy in regards to user information and questions as to how the information is used.
The EU has been hunting down Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) over everything from its data-collection and privacy policies, to taxes to now even questioning how Google sells its licenses for the Android operating system amid complaints that it violates EU antitrust regulations. While there are a few EU government that are very careful about using Google products and services, there is one Scandinavian country that seems pretty intent on imposing a ban on use of Google in every government agency in the country – even at the local level.
There is a story coming out of Sweden, of all places – where Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) just opened its first non-U.S. and environmentally conscious data center – where a recent ruling about a Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) service agreement with a municipality not only was struck down, but the ruling could effectively prevent any government entity anywhere in Sweden from using Google services at all – especially those related to the cloud.
The ruling stated that the City of Salem had to either dramatically change the terms of the agreement with Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) for cloud services as it related to data-protection and privacy, or had to cease using Google altogether. This comes in the wake of repeated requests by EU regulators to have Google changes its policies regarding privacy and data-collection, and the company has so far resisted. In the ruling, the agreement was ruled to not be in compliance with data-protection rules and it does address major concerns about how personal information that Google collects will be handled, and that Google did not provide information about the proper amount of required oversight of its subcontractors who would help execute the agreement. If these matters were not addressed, then the agreement with the City of Salem would be revoked.
But this a single city in Sweden; how does the entire country get involved in this?