Google's Privacy Policy Breaches Data Protection Act: Dutch DPA

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New Delhi: A Dutch data protection body has alleged that Internet giant Google has been breaching personal data protection laws in the Netherlands, following similar claims by other European nations.

 College for the Protection of Personal Data (CPPD), the Dutch data protection authority (DPA), alleged that Google has been combining personal data from Internet users without adequately informing them in advance and without asking for their consent.

 CPPD Chairman Jacob Kohnstamm said these activities (by Google) to tailor ads and personalise services like YouTube "spins an invisible web of our personal information, without our permission, and that is outlawed."

 He added that the body has invited Google to a hearing, after which it will decide on possible enforcement action.

 When contacted, a Google spokesperson said the company's privacy policy "respects European law and allows us to create simpler, more effective services."

 "We have engaged fully with the Dutch DPA throughout this process and will continue to do so going forward," the spokesperson added.

 CPPD claimed Google does not offer users any (prior) options to consent to or reject the examined data processing activities.

 The consent, required by law, for the combining of personal data from different Google services cannot be obtained by accepting general (privacy) terms of service, it added.

 In January 2012, Google announced that by March 1, 2012, its new privacy policy would apply to all users worldwide, allows the company to track users across all its platforms, including Gmail, Google+ and YouTube.

 Six national privacy authorities in France, Germany (Hamburg), the UK, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands decided to initiate national investigations, based on their own national laws.

 In June this year, Spain launched proceedings against Google over five suspected serious data breaches, while France has given the search giant three months to rethink its privacy rules.
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Source: PTI
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