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Google’s Power Curtailed

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Having been the recent recipient of a spam-like social network email that clearly was deceptive in its intent (sending constant reminders and masquerading as a Google mail service), I welcome the EU’s new attempts to fence Internet improprieties. If you don’t think it’s a personal bother yet, just wait until more information is collated on you and your proclivities. Big brother is here, and it’s not the government we need to worry about this time, it’s pernicious advertisers and search engines feeding off of us.

And now onto the biggest brother of all – Google. The Guardian reports that the EU’s, and specifically France’s data protection agency, the CNIL, will tell the search engine giant to alter its privacy policy adapted earlier this year. It seems that Google, which of course deny any wrong doing, will have to undo changes to their users’ accounts and the collection of their data for advertising purposes. This ruling may have a profound effect on many other platforms, like Facebook for instance. A US-based lawyer, Bradley Shears, quoted in the recent Guardian piece surrounding the case has this to say: “Since Google refused to heed the EU’s prior warnings that changing its privacy policies may violate data protection laws it would not surprise me if restrictions are placed on how Google may utilise the user data profiles it has created since the new policies went into effect. This [/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][EU] decision may restrict Google’s ability to fully monetise its users’ personal data across its platforms and may cost Google tens of millions of dollars in lost revenue.”

The above mentioned lost revenue will most likely only deter businesses like Google for a short period. The lure of ‘direct-hit’ advertising is too much of an incentive to leave alone, and the European courts will have a difficult time monitoring the clever loopholes of these billion dollar tech companies. Nonetheless, it serves as a stern warning to keep the sanctity of users’ information intact.

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William R. Feins , freelance journalist from London, UK; he received his B.A. degree in Economics and his Masters in Sociology. William has always been interested in the mechanics of business and the inspiration of original thinkers, and firmly believes that the former can’t succeed without the latter. In his spare time, he enjoys the ridiculous spectacle of watching table tennis on a big screen (preferably at a pub) and reading weighty tomes about World War II.

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