EU Considering 'Repressive Action' Against Google

France says the company hasn't responded adequately to privacy concerns

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 19, 2013 3:42 PM CST

(Newser) – Google may be about to face a serious privacy challenge on the other side of the pond. France's privacy watchdog said yesterday that it and several other EU regulators want to coordinate a "repressive action" against Google, the Wall Street Journal reports. The regulators allege that Google has failed to give "precise and effective" answers to the privacy warnings all 27 EU nations issued in October.

The regulators haven't even begun to decide what that repressive action might entail; each country has its own rules on such things, with France's top fine coming in at around $401,000. Google says that it has fully complied with EU law, and that it sent France a letter in January on the steps it had taken to protect users' privacy. But French regulators say those steps were decidedly vague. The whole dispute stems from the company's 2012 decision to share users' data among various Google services.

In this Oct. 17, 2012, file photo, a man raises his hand at Google's offices.
In this Oct. 17, 2012, file photo, a man raises his hand at Google's offices.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
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