Technology giant Google has just been slapped with a $1.23 million fine (900,000 Euros) by Spain’s privacy watchdog, where they have been deemed to have broken Spain’s data protection law after merging personal information from its various online services while not informing in a clear and precise manner on how Google will be making use of such data. Of course, $1.23 million is definitely a drop in the bucket for Google considering how they currently boast of a market capitalisation of more than $350 billion. Still, this does show how there are concerns across the Old World about the amount of personal data which is being held in foreign jurisdictions in what is better known as “cloud” storage services.
When it comes to cloud storage services, such data will be stored in a remote manner over the Internet, and not on-site, which means that individuals will have extremely little control when it comes to their personal information. In fact, it was just last month when the Dutch Data Protection Authority held Google responsible for violating its data protection act. Even as you read this, there are investigations being held against Google in at least three other European countries.
The Spanish Agency for Data Protection mentioned in a statement, “Inspections have shown that Google compiles personal information through close to one hundred services and products it offers in Spain, without providing in many cases the adequate information about the data that is being gathered, why it is gathered and without obtaining the consent of the owners.”