Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
EU Google Privacy

EU Commissioner Renews Call for Serious Fines in Data Privacy Laws 162

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the except-when-the-state-does-it dept.
DW100 writes "Despite Google being fined €900,000 by Spanish authorities and €150,000 in France for its controversial privacy policies in recent months, an EU commissioner has admitted this is mere 'pocket money' to the company. Instead, a new legal regime that would have seen Google fined $1bn for breaching data protection laws is needed to make U.S. companies fear and respect the law in Europe. 'Is it surprising to anyone,' asked Commissioner Viviane Reding, 'that two whole years after the case emerged, it is still unclear whether Google will amend its privacy policy or not? Europeans need to get serious. And that is why our reform introduces stiff sanctions that can reach as much as 2% of the global annual turnover of a company. In the Google case, that would have meant a fine of EUR 731 million (USD 1 billion). A sum much harder to brush off.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

EU Commissioner Renews Call for Serious Fines in Data Privacy Laws

Comments Filter:
  • Hypocrites (Score:5, Interesting)

    by EmperorArthur (1113223) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @12:16AM (#46021675)

    The EU is also responsible for the Data Retention Directive [wikipedia.org]. Worse, most of their spy agencies are just as bad as the NSA. When you combine that with the lack of free speech in many EU countries it doesn't paint a pretty picture.

    They're going to force companies to keep user data on EU soil. Which sounds nice, but that means they can force companies to keep your data for as long as they want and hand it all over to "law enforcement" when you've done something inconvenient. They will then have things like search results censored. (See Google France) I hate to say it, but people in the EU have even less privacy than those of us in the US. Even with/especially because of these privacy directives.

    • Re:Hypocrites (Score:4, Informative)

      by abhi_beckert (785219) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @12:28AM (#46021729)

      Worse, most of their spy agencies are just as bad as the NSA.

      When did a european spy agency pay the largest security firm in the world to put a back door in their encryption?

      There is nobody in the world as bad as the NSA.

    • by c0lo (1497653)

      When you combine that with the lack of free speech in many EU countries it doesn't paint a pretty picture.

      Lack of explicit regulation/laws on free speech and lack of free speech are two different things.

      • Lack of explicit regulation/laws on free speech and lack of free speech are two different things.

        In theory that's true, but many parts of the EU outright ban certain speech. For example, I don't like the Nazis and consider them to be horrible; However, when people are prevented from showing their colors to the world they, rightly, think that people are out to get them. So instead of some crazies yelling whatever they want you have people who can only get attention through things like violence.

        "There are four boxes to be used in the defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury and ammo. Please use in that o [wikipedia.org]

        • "There are four boxes to be used in the defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury and ammo. Please use in that order." [wikipedia.org] Marginalized people like Neo Nazis* aren't allowed to speak in countries like France and Germany, they know there a minority so voting won't work, and no way that they would be allowed on a Jury. With that in mind it's surprising that we haven't seen more violence out of people like them.

          Yeah. Isn't it strange that the oh so free US has more problems with extremists (Unabomber and the like) than the countries that you say should expect those kind of problems?

        • Marginalized people like Neo Nazis* aren't allowed to speak in countries like France and Germany, they know there a minority so voting won't work, and no way that they would be allowed on a Jury. With that in mind it's surprising that we haven't seen more violence out of people like them.

          Neo-nazis are quite handy in Germany. When kids decide to have a fight, they look for some neo-nazis to beat up instead of law-abiding citizens, so everyone is happy.

        • Marginalized people like Neo Nazis* aren't allowed to speak in countries like France and Germany, they know there a minority so voting won't work, and no way that they would be allowed on a Jury. With that in mind it's surprising that we haven't seen more violence out of people like them.

          It's generally considered good form to revise one's assumptions when their predictive value has been lost. Or put another way: It's your understanding of these "marginalized people" that's faulty here.

          *They're marginalized because they're horrid and nuts,

          Ah yes, of course. It couldn't just be that you're a prejudiced asshole. It is, in fact, possible to be a minority that is not "horrid and nuts". See also: Every civil rights movement. Ever.

        • by c0lo (1497653)

          Marginalized people like Neo Nazis* aren't allowed to speak in countries like France and Germany, they know there a minority so voting won't work, and no way that they would be allowed on a Jury.

          The way I know (but I might be wrong) neither France nor Germany has the institution of Jury.

          With that in mind it's surprising that we haven't seen more violence out of people like them.

          Well, other places, other folks, other habits (I'm deliberately letting aside the mater of culture)... Somehow, I don't find it strange at all (and no longer feel an urge to judge them).

          *They're marginalized because they're horrid and nuts, but that just makes them more likely to do something dangerous and crazy.

          Ummm... every "circle" has a fringe... of course there will always be some that would be disliked and avoided the most and highly probable they'd be considered nuts ("if only they'd change a bit their behavior, they'd be closer to th

        • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

          With that in mind it's surprising that we haven't seen more violence out of people like them.

          Not really. The limits on speech are extremely narrow and very specific. Holocaust denial, for example. You are free to say you think the holocaust was a good thing, just not deny that it ever happened. These laws were introduced to deal with very specific problems.

          As such Neo-Nazis do have a voice but since most people know better it doesn't get them very far. They will keep trying of course, but violence isn't really helping their cause and most of them do kind of understand that. Aside from anything else

    • keeping the data in EU means two very great things for me. 1) NSA must work harder to get it on their grubby hands , whereas with US firm they jsut need to ask 2) I can check the data and ask for rectification and so forth as an EU citizen, but good luck doing that in the US 3) it is much harder to market "me" in the Eu than it is in the US. My data you see cannot be sold that easily. 4) US law enforcement can pretty much run roughshed on my data in the US anyway so it isn't as if the EU law enforcement wou
    • The EU is also responsible for the Data Retention Directive.

      Indeed. Which is - I admit - a shame. But we're also capable of learning from our errors, it seems:

      The European Union's data retention directive is incompatible with the bloc's charter of fundamental rights, Advocate General Pedro Cruz VillalÃn said in an opinion Thursday. [...] The opinion isn't binding on the European Court of Justice, Europe's highest court, but in the majority of cases, advocate general opinions are followed.

      Source [wsj.com]

      I wi

  • Or even better, just tell google they have to stop selling services in Europe for a period of time, say 90 days. So nobody in Europe would be allowed to buy ads off Google while the ban was in place.

    This would give competitors, who presumably adhere to EU law, a chance to step in and earn some revenue of their own.

    • This would give competitors, who presumably adhere to EU law, a chance to step in and earn some revenue of their own."

      Otherwise known as a "free market"..
      Free = Anyone can step in.
      Market = Rules of trade.

  • Finally, some restrictions on the mining of "big data". Some people have a HUGE problem with its collection and storage by greedy, sleazy, single minded corporations. Not to mention the fact that government goons can store and search that data however they please. Privacy is a human right. If you are willing to use it as currency to purchase shiny, you are part of the problem.
    • by c0lo (1497653)

      Some people have a HUGE problem with its collection and storage by greedy, sleazy, single minded corporations.

      Greedy, yes. Sleazy... maybe, highly probable. Single minded? In Google's case, I doubt it: they are a too intelligent bunch.

      • Some people have a HUGE problem with its collection and storage by greedy, sleazy, single minded corporations.

        Greedy, yes. Sleazy... maybe, highly probable. Single minded? In Google's case, I doubt it: they are a too intelligent bunch.

        Yep they will pay the Russian mob under the table to do it illegal through a subsidiary that funnels the money back to Google corporate. American companies do this all the time for tax evasion and patent lawsuits. They sign a contract that they wont sue anymore for a settlement for additional patents. The patent troll then looks at the patents and opens up a secret shell subsidiary and sues under that for the rest etc.

  • by Billly Gates (198444) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @01:03AM (#46021889) Journal

    The ad companies will cry foul and make websites give messages saying how the evil socialist EU regime is taking this website away. Please email X to tell them to reverse this law etc.

    Since they are injecting Chrome with malware and adware through buying extensions and now circumventing adblock plus and making javascript fail to load if they detect blockers I would not put this past them.

    • The ad companies will cry foul and make websites give messages saying how the evil socialist EU regime is taking this website away.

      Wrong, defined: You. The "ad companies" are not the people collecting thie data, they're not the ones whose servers are being hacked, aren't the ones with crappy internal security procedures, and are not collecting massive amounts of data on people's online habits and aggregating them into profiles. The "ad companies" are the consumers of this data, not the producers of it.

      Since they are injecting Chrome with malware and adware through buying extensions and now circumventing adblock plus and making javascript fail to load if they detect blockers I would not put this past them.

      Yes. It's every "ad company" that's doing this, not just a few rogue ones. Let's just throw the entire industry under the bus because of

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @01:09AM (#46021919)

    Not legal. When it comes to the question whether something "illegal" is done by a company, three things get taken into consideration:

    1. What it costs to avoid the fine (or the profit to be had by ignoring the law, respectively)
    2. Amount to pay when you get caught.
    3. Chance to get caught.

    That's it. And before someone asks, yes, risk management is part of my job, and these are essentially the considerations when it comes to laws. More and more often law changes get dumped on my desk rather than legal because we no longer avoid breaking the law by default, we check whether it pays to break it.

    You'd be surprised how often it does...

    • Can someone explain to a stupid person why the described behaviour wont just add additional charges of criminal conspiracy?
      • by stenvar (2789879)

        Perhaps because it's not a "conspiracy"?

        What's next? Are you going to throw people in jail who deliberately park in no parking zones?

      • Well, maybe because that's not what it is displayed as to the outside but as "some unfortunate mishap that we're truly sorry for"?

        Duh.

      • No, it's already obvious the "risk manager" does not grasp the irony of posting exhibit A to Slashdot.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      That's it. And before someone asks, yes, risk management is part of my job, and these are essentially the considerations when it comes to laws. More and more often law changes get dumped on my desk rather than legal because we no longer avoid breaking the law by default, we check whether it pays to break it.

      Holy shit. You should check that policy with legal. The laws might be different in different countries but where I live I am pretty sure that if you intentionally and willingly break the law you are no longer protected as a worker at a company and can be held personally accountable.
      The protection a company gets is there for the kind of negligence that can happen when many people think "someone else will take care of that" and such, not to protect calculated organized crime.
      Your policy can actually put you i

      • You're acting like there's any company out there who does it differently.

        Of course, the official course is to minimize damages and try to do whatever you can to uphold the law, but the extent you go to is mainly influenced by the cost to do so and the cost to pay the fine if it hits. Whether you want to admit that or not, it's the sad reality of business, and anyone not following that train of thought will not survive for long. You simply cannot afford putting security before profitability, as much as I'd l

    • Not legal. When it comes to the question whether something "illegal" is done by a ...

      Thank you, Sir Armchair Lawyer, for that insightful commentary. I'm sure you're a far better expert on the topic than the legal departments of all these major companies. Consider that just the laws of the United States are so numerous, so complex, that nobody on this planet is capable of being fully versed in them, and in fact they cannot even be counted with any accuracy. Entire libraries exist for the sole purpose of collecting these laws. Now, multiply that problem by the number of countries we're talkin

  • Except the new fine won't apply to Google. Google was fined previously for changing the privacy policy with insufficient notification and explanation of the change, not because they were actually violating anything other than a notification requirement.

  • Why do they want to target Google? What are the practical problems caused by the data collection?

Loose bits sink chips.

Working...