EU's €50 Million Fine of Google Sends Message to Other US Companies

Today’s topics include the EU fining Alphabet €50 million, and Microsoft bolstering security and compliance with Microsoft 365 add-ons.

European regulators have fined Google and its parent company Alphabet €50 million in response to a complaint filed on May 25, 2018, saying that Google failed to meet the requirements of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation in regard to its privacy practices.

The complaint claimed that Google was not transparent with how it used customer data in its Android mobile software and was not getting proper consent in using customer data in its ad network.

The complaint was the first major action filed under the GDPR, taking place on the same day the regulation took effect. While 50 million euros is basically petty cash for Alphabet, it’s enough money to send a message that U.S. companies aren’t immune from GDPR regulations if they do business in Europe, and EU authorities aren’t afraid to fine U.S. companies.

Starting Feb. 1, Microsoft 365 enterprise users will be able to buy new optional security and compliance packages. Presently these services are included in the highest level Microsoft 365 subscription plans, the E5 level, but will now be offered as add-ons for lower E1 and E3 subscription plans.

The add-on identity and threat protection services, which will be available for $12 per user per month, bring together expanded tools including Microsoft Threat Protection, Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection and Office 365 ATP with Threat Intelligence.

Also part of the package in the expanded services are Microsoft Cloud App Security and Azure Active Directory. The optional information protection and compliance package, which will be available for $10 per user per month, will combine Office 365 Advance Compliance and Microsoft's Azure Information Protection services.