With data privacy laws getting stricter by the day for the major tech giants to abide by, it is bound that someone would be making a mistake sooner or later. In this case, it is indeed Google (Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL)). Google has just been handed a fine of $57 million by France’s top data-privacy agency, CNIL.
The Allegations Against Google
The charges stem from the new strict data privacy laws that are being adopted through Europe. CNIL has alleged that Google doesn’t inform its users completely as to how their data is collected. Moreover, they don’t even tell the user what happens to that data i.e. where it is eventually used. CNIL also accused the internet behemoth of not properly obtaining the consent of the user before using their data.
All this violates the rules present in the GDPR, a rule system maintained by Europe. The fine deemed right by CNIL was a massive $57 million dollars.
What is GDPR?
GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation. In effect since May 25, 2018, the GDPR represent some of the toughest online privacy rules that have ever been put into effect. It is effective in all of European Union’s 28 member states. The main purpose behind this set of rules is to make sure that the data collected by companies should be done so in a more regulated manner. The user should know how much of his data is being collected, how it is being collected and what will the data be used for eventually. There are also many other rules in the GDPR which are aimed at allowing the user more freedom to access the internet without mild hinderances like the e-commerce ads popping up everywhere.
Google’s Point of View
This isn’t the first time that Google has been accused of a privacy breach. Earlier, Google was accused of giving developers access to hundreds of Gmail accounts. They claimed that it allowed them to be of better service to the users by observing their behaviour and regulating it through ads and suggestions accordingly. It doesn’t end there either. In October last year, we exposed Google’s dirty secret that exposed Google and forced the company to announce the shutdown of Google+ – a bug which exposed the data of almost 500,000 Google+ accounts!
Hence, Google hasn’t had the best of track records when it comes to privacy. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that they actually tried to fall in-line with GDPR. The company claimed to have made their privacy policies easier to understand. But apparently, not easy enough for CNIL to let them go.
Too Big of A Stumbling Block?
Google needs to realise that it cannot keep on allowing such privacy issues to surface at such frequent intervals. The rules of the web are changing pretty fast in these times. It is vital that the Sundar Pichai led Google to abide by them properly. $57 million might be manageable for Google for now, but should the other countries report similar breaches, matters are going to escalate pretty fast!