French regulators have given Google three months to rectify data collection policies that are said to violate French law in order to avoid penalties. If the search giant fails to comply with the French Data Protection Act, they will be fined 150,000 euros (roughly $198,000) for the first offense and up to 300,000 euros for a second offense.
Specifically, France’s National Commission for Computing and Civil Liberties watchdog group known as CNIL said Google prevents users from knowing how their personal data may be used and from controlling the use of their data.
Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin, Chairwoman of the French authority, said France isn’t the only country that will take action against the search giant. Spain, Germany and the U.K. will join France next week with a formal and official decision against Google while Italy and the Netherlands are expected to weigh in next month.
Spain believes that Google may be committing as many as six infractions against local data laws, charges which also carry a maximum penalty of 300,000 euros. Whether or not Google will take the threats seriously, however, remains to be seen as previous recommendations from regulators went largely ignored. It may seem like a lot of money but truth be told, it wouldn’t even begin to put a dent in Google’s deep pockets.
This isn’t the first time Google has landed into trouble over privacy concerns in Europe. French officials fined Google 100,000 euros in 2011 for gathering data from unsecured Wi-Fi connections while roaming local streets collecting Street View imagery.