Europe Set To Act Against Google

6764585321_7a93286294Four month ago European authorities issued a report about Google’s privacy policy. At issue is the bundling of Google products into a single service so Google would be able to draw from as wide a dataset as possible to counter Facebook’s walled garden. The issue is that users have little access to their data and no ability to prevent Google from acting on the data. European authorities, notably the CNIL of France, gave Google four months to reform. Monday was the end of the four-month period and now the CNIL is setting up a working group to at against Google.

Even though this action will be confined to Google products in Europe, it would be wrong for the American education marketing company to assume there will be no effect. Because of the sheer size of the European market any changes Google is forced to put into place might very well find itself over here as well. This does seem unlikely because the US market is so lucrative, but movement in European might bolster privacy advocates over here. Congressional action would be more likely using the European actions as political cover.

A possible benefit from this action, however, is Google’s response. This is a public opinion battle and if Google can seize the moment, then it can prevent punitive action from being levied. A way to do that is to make the data Google has collected seem savvy instead of an intrusion. Google could use the data to push relevant data at users and that might win them over to the data collection. Google Now is a product that can be at the forefront of this service. If that is Google’s response, then the education marketing company can expect to see a more effective method of reaching users.

Photo by Khalid Albaih

Google’s Consolidated Privacy Policy Draws Fresh Fire in Europe

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