Italy has given Google 18 months to sort out how it treats and stores user data.
According to the Italy’s data protection regulator has been investigating Google as part of a European drive to reform the internet giant’s privacy practices.
There was concern after Google consolidated its 60 privacy policies into one, combining data collected on individual users across its services, including YouTube, Gmail and social network Google+. It gave users no means to opt out.
The Italian watchdog barked that Google’s disclosure to users on how their data was being treated remained inadequate, despite the company having taken steps to abide by local law.
The Rome-based regulator said Google would not be allowed to use the data to profile users without their prior consent and would have to tell them explicitly that the profiling was being done for commercial purposes.
The watchdog snarled that requests from users with a Google account to delete their personal data be met in up to two months.
A spokesman for Google said the company had always cooperated with the regulator and would continue to do so, adding it would carefully review the regulator’s decision before taking any further steps.
Google also agreed to present a document by the end of September that will set a roadmap of steps to comply fully with the Italian regulator’s decision.
If it does not it could cost Google a million euros in fines, which is such a small part of Google’s income it is a wonder if it will care. There are criminal proceedings which could get a few Google executives in the dock. Google executives have been in the dock before in Italy and it ended badly.
Regulators in France and Spain have already fined Google for breaking local laws on data protection, underscoring growing concerns across Europe about the volume of personal data that is held in foreign jurisdictions.
In Britain, the ICO regulator gave Google until September 20 last year to make changes to bring the policy into line with local law.