The French National Commission on Computing and Freedom (CNIL) has given Google 3 months to add more transparency to the data they are collecting from European users or face privacy fines. Still reeling from recent backlash about handing over consumer data to the US government, Google now faces added pressure from European countries concerned about the exact nature of Google’s collection and use of personal data. According to CNIL, Spain has thrown their support behind the French agency with Great Britain, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands to get onboard in the coming weeks.
While the monetary penalties Google may be fined if found in violation of the French law (up to €300k) are laughable to a tech behemoth that just announced Q1 2013 revenues of $14 billion, losing the trust of consumers in Europe alludes to a much scarier scenario. With the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) in Great Britain announcing their investigation into Google’s compliance with UK law, it would be wise for Google to address these concerns head on and perhaps even offer their resources and knowledge to help European legislators revise their outdated data protection laws. This type of transparency, goodwill and collaboration could go a long way in building sustainable, long-term rapport with one of Google’s most vital international markets.