Spain launched sanction proceedings against Google Inc. on Thursday for suspected serious breaches of data protection laws, acting just hours after France threatened the group with big fines.
The Spanish Data Protection Agency said it found evidence of five serious privacy law breaches — each punishable with fines of up to 300,000 euros ($395,000).
It also cited evidence of one minor infraction, which could be punished with a fine up to 40,000 euros.
The problems arose when Google “simplifed” and consolidated its privacy policies last year.
Spain said Google Spain and Google Inc.’s new policy could allow it to combine personal information collected from different services and use it for other ends.
“Google does not give clear information about the use it will make of users’ data, so they are unable to know precisely why their personal data is being collected or how it will be used,” the agency said in a statement.
The data protection agency listed the suspected serious infractions as:
— Disproportionate use of private data;
— Diverting private data for other uses;
— Storing private data for excessive or undetermined periods;
— Failure to handle private data in a legitimate way;
— Obstructing users in the exercise of their rights.
Google was also suspected of the minor infraction of failing to provide information to users.
Read more on AFP. As noted previously on this blog, other EU members are also threatening Google, and yesterday, France’s CNIL gave Google three months to comply before it took action.
ZDNet has more on this development, with a link to the document in Spanish.