Data Protection Cases against Google

Why Countries are filing Security and Data Protection Cases against Google?

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In today’s tech-savvy world, the number of internet users is growing exponentially day by day. While the internet provides us with numerous advantages, its increasing use gives rise to numerous security threats as well. Many companies including giants like Facebook, Microsoft, etc. claim to have a safe data privacy policy, however, security concerns have been raised against them time and again. Tech giant Google is also not an exception as it has faced numerous data security allegations from different countries over the years including,

  1. United States:

Data Protection Cases against Google

In early 2005, the United States Department of Justice filed a motion in federal court to force Google to comply with a subpoena for “the text of each search string entered onto Google’s search engine over a two-month period.” Google fought the subpoena due to concerns about users’ privacy. In March 2006, the court rules partially in Google’s favour, recognizing the privacy implications of turning over search items and refusing to grant access. Similar questions regarding security were raised against Google in 2008, 2010, 2012-13, and 2018 as well.

  1. European Union (EU):

Data Protection Cases against Google

The European Union (EU) data protection officials have written to Google asking it to justify its policy of keeping information on individuals’ internet searches for up to two years. The letter questioned whether Google had fulfilled all the necessary requirements on the EU laws concerning data protection. In May 2007, Google agreed that its privacy policy was vague, and it was constantly working to make it clearer for the users.

  1. France:

Data Protection Cases against Google

The French authority CNIL sanctioned Google, requiring it to pay its highest fee and to display on its search engine website a banner referring to the decision in January 2014. Google complied but planned to appeal to the supreme court of administrative justice. Several French and German Companies came together to form a group called ‘The Open Internet Project,’ seeking a ban on Google’s manipulative of its own services and content over those of others.

  1. Czech Republic:

Data Protection Cases against Google

In 2010, the Czech Office for Personal Data Protection prevented Street View from taking pictures in new locations. The office described Google’s program as taking pictures ‘beyond the extent of the ordinary sight from a street’ and claimed that it disproportionately invaded the citizens’ privacy. Google resumed Street View in Czech Republic in 2012 after having agreed to a number of limitations.

The Recent Debate

Recently, Australia has announced to introduce a landmark law to make Google, Facebook, and potentially other tech companies pay media outlets for their news content. The proposed news code would tie Google and Facebook to mediated negotiations with publishers over the value of news content, if no agreement could be reached first.

However, the US tech giants have fought back, arguing the laws are onerous and would damage local access to services. Google, in particular, has threatened to remove its search engine from Australia. Google Australia Managing Director Mel Silva told a Senate hearing on Friday that the laws were unworkable. “If this version of the code were to become law, it would give us no real choice but to stop making Google search available in Australia,” she added.

Also read, Google’s Gradual shift towards the Go-Green Initiative



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