Can CNIL Make Google More Transparent?

Apr 11, 2013
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CNIL Google

CNIL, the French data protection agency, is leading an investigation on Google along with 5 other European countries to probe data protection violations. On March 19 a delegation of Google representatives worked alongside German, Spanish, French, Dutch, British and Italian agents to implement changes in Google’s new privacy rules.

Much like settling dispute resolutions between private oil companies and sovereign nations, Google will have to comply to European Data Protection Directive (95/46/CE) as far as user internet rights are concerned. Long-term, sustainable solutions for Google’s umbrella privacy policy appear futile if they continue to pay arbitrary fines and face opposition from local authorities.

“It is seen as bureaucratic, burdensome and too prescriptive. It focuses on “how” organisations should do things, rather than on “what” they should be achieving.” – Richard Thomas, Information Commissioner commenting on the EU Data Protection Directive

Before long, perhaps a generation two later, we may all experience the aftermath of our unmitigated online activity and shameless visibility. Perhaps data collection tools should not be the center of debate but the users themselves who adhere to no legal policies nor moral or personal standards.  Furthermore if CNIL wants to seek change rather than indemnities, compliance with an international standards rather than case-by-case jurisdictions will require unanimous adoption and eligible privacy notices for all users (respecting age, language and even religious affiliations).

Though Google is in the technological forefront for data collection- be it maps, analytics and media, they will have to concede to their extensive intrusion of privacy, despite their efficient and innovative methods of doing it.

France

United States

Consolidated Revenues for 2012

$ 6.9 billion (Europe)

$15.24 billion

Past fines

500,000 for Google Maps

$22.5 million to Federal Trade Comission

Future estimated fines

€ 300,000 to CNIL

To be continued…