Google Faces French Order to Fix Privacy Issues Within 90 Days
Google is also being told it must "fairly collect and process passive users' data, in particular with regard to data collected using the 'Doubleclick' and 'Analytics' cookies, '+1' buttons or any other Google service available on the visited page," according to the CNIL. Similar investigations will continue in the other five European nations as Google and France work toward an agreement on these issues, the CNIL reported. If Google doesn't comply, it faces an initial fine of up to $201,100 and a second of $396,400 if it still fails to act, according to a report by Reuters. In April, Google was hit with an $189,167 fine in Germany for collecting user data without fully disclosing the practice as Google Street View vehicles combed German streets collecting information for its maps from 2007 to 2010.A similar case in the United States was resolved in March when a $7 million settlement was reached between Google and the U.S. government to end a probe into the Street View imaging program, which for three years collected personal information on users wirelessly as the Street View vehicles drove around taking photographs. The $7 million fine against Google was designed to resolve investigations that were under way by some 30 state attorneys general over the controversial Street View program. Google's progress on developing clearer, better-known policies regarding how it will use any of the personal data belonging to its users has become a sore point with many governments around the world, which say that the search giant is not moving quickly enough to address such privacy concerns. Google could potentially be fined about $1 billion for shortcomings in its data privacy policies in Europe.
The Street View program came under scrutiny both in the United States and in Europe after it was learned that Google was gathering the information street-by-street between 2007 and 2010, according to an earlier eWEEK report.