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Dutch Authority To Google: Change Privacy Policy Or Else, by Lock Essers, PCWorld

http://tinyurl.com/n6h5b7y

If Google doesn’t change how it handles users’ private data by the end of February, it may face fines of €15 million (about US$18.6 million), the Dutch Privacy Authority said Monday.

Google’s current privacy policy breaches several provisions of the Dutch data protection act, the regulator found in an investigation in 2013. In particular, the probe showed that Google breaches the law when it combines data from different services like search queries, location data and videos watched.

‘Google catches us in an invisible web of our personal data without telling us and without asking us for our consent. This has been ongoing since 2012 and we hope our patience will no longer be tested,’ said Jacob Kohnstamm, chairman of the Dutch DPA.

By the end of February, Google should get ‘unambiguous consent’ from its users before it combines personal data from different Google services to serve targeted ads, the DPA said. This could for instance be achieved by introducing a separate consent window.

Moreover, Google should also give clear and consistent information in its privacy policy to people who use several Google services. . . .

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