Google may face fines

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London - Google Inc. faces further probes and “repressive action” by European Union data-protection agencies after failing to meet a deadline to say how it will bring its privacy policy in line with EU rules.

Google hasn’t provided “any precise and effective” responses to EU data-protection regulators’ recommendations, France’s National Commission for Computing and Civil Liberties, or CNIL, said in a statement today.

EU regulators “are determined to act and continue their investigations” and their “repressive action” should happen in the coming months, CNIL said, without defining what that may entail. CNIL led the probe on behalf of EU data-protection authorities.

Google, operator of the world’s largest search engine, faces privacy investigations by authorities around the world as it debuts new services and steps up competition with Facebook Inc. for users and advertisers.

Google changed its system to create a uniform set of policies for more than 60 products last year, unleashing criticism from regulators and consumer advocates concerned it isn’t protecting data it collects.

“Our privacy policy respects European law and allows us to create simpler, more effective services,” Google said in an e- mailed statement today.

“We have engaged fully with the CNIL throughout this process and we’ll continue to do so going forward.”

Google had until this month to revise its protections or face possible fines, CNIL said in October.

Chairwoman Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin said then that CNIL could levy fines and called it “probable” that other European would pursue Google if it doesn’t address the issues raised in their report. - Bloomberg News


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