Google breaches Dutch privacy laws

Internet giants encounter more trouble with their privacy policy

Dutch privacy watchdogs have concluded that Google's privacy policy is in breach of the Dutch data protection act

According to a Dutch Data Protection Authority (DPA) report, Google does not adequately inform users which personal data it collects and combines, and for what purpose.

"Google spins an invisible Web of our personal data, without our consent. And that is forbidden by law", the chairman of the Dutch Data Protection Authority, Jacob Kohnstamm, said in a statement.

In response, Google said it did give users detailed information about the data it was collecting and what would be done with it.

"Our privacy policy respects European law and allows us to create simpler, more effective services," it said in a statement. "We have engaged fully with the Dutch DPA throughout this process and will continue to do so going forward."

Google has been invited by the Dutch DPA to attend a hearing, after which the agency will decide whether it will take enforcement measures.

The updated privacy policy was implemented in 2012 causing privacy advocates outrage. Google consolidated 70 or so privacy policies across its products down to just one. But with this change, Google also switched to one profile for users across all services rather than separate logins for offerings like YouTube, Search, and Blogger.

Other data protection agencies in Europe have also been examining Google's privacy policy, including the Dutch, Spanish, Germans, Italians, and U.K. officials.