EU law considers Google guilty of breach of privacy

In an age where information on almost all occasions is equated with economic value, the company that has taken as its responsibility the organization of world’s information is currently in breach of law set by the European Union. The ruling from the European Justice Commissioner just a few days after Google restructured its privacy policy towards making it more simple and understandable by users of the site. Google has already been in trouble before on the other side of the Atlantic because of the controversial street view feature in Google maps. The feature raised privacy issues much like the current restricting is considered to be breach of. The doubt in its privacy policy could lead to a Europe wide investigation that can be potentially harmful for the already tainted reputation of the company. The move is unlikely to have huge monetary impact of the company that enjoys immense and deep loyalty either out of convenience that users find with its products or out of pure love and respect for the company.

The new policy guidelines are doubtful in legality in context of the European law and have hugely disregarded transparency. The policy covers the online Google offerings like YouTube, Google mail, search and its social network Google+. The Commissioner of the European agency noted that the policy violated the basic entity that European law strives to protect and that is a person’s private information. The Google offers users a free choice to use its services or opt out. In case one chooses to do the former then he or she will have to accept having their information shared with companies across the globe. The Google algorithm streamlines the available information that one usually consumes by visiting websites and pages into a set of preferences which are then used to offer recommendations, complete search forms, match adverts basically providing you with an interface that understands your likes and dislikes. For the algorithm to functions as it does, sharing of information between Google and third parties is an essential element.

The bone of contention is this very element that European law is against and Google’s entire business model rests on. How this story unfolds will be the thing to watch out for in the coming months.

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