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French Officials Say EU Will Sanction Google Over Privacy

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the pay-up dept.

Google 161

taz346 writes "French officials said on Monday that the EU intends to sanction Google after the Internet search giant failed to respond to concerns about its privacy policy. 'At the end of a four-month delay accorded to Google to comply with the European data protection directive and to implement effectively (our) recommendations, no answer has been given,' said France's CNIL data protection agency. Google's new policy, implemented in March 2012, allows it to track users over multiple sites. Users who sign in to Google services cannot opt out. CNIL said a working group would meet next week to begin work on 'coercive actions which should be implemented before the summer' against Google."

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161 comments

Damn nanny government (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42939167)

Trying to protect its citizens' privacy!

Re:Damn nanny government (-1, Troll)

Lapithes (2765013) | about a year and a half ago | (#42939239)

The EU isn't a state, it has no citizens.

Re:Damn nanny government (1)

game kid (805301) | about a year and a half ago | (#42939287)

Curiously, it sometimes serves individuals better than states that do have citizens.

Re:Damn nanny government (5, Informative)

alendit (1454311) | about a year and a half ago | (#42939305)

Re:Damn nanny government (-1, Flamebait)

Lapithes (2765013) | about a year and a half ago | (#42939363)

If I call you my subject will you accept me as king? Would it be alright if others did business with me as if I were your king even if you don't accept me as such?

Re:Damn nanny government (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42939527)

If you're a citizen of a nation in the European Union, you're also a citizen of the European Union, barring special circumstances.

Has no bearing on your scenario.

Re:Damn nanny government (1, Flamebait)

Lapithes (2765013) | about a year and a half ago | (#42939559)

So long as it is agreed that the term EU citizen has no bearing on my or anyone's scenario I'm fine with it as a meaningless abbreviation.

Re:Damn nanny government (1)

Lapithes (2765013) | about a year and a half ago | (#42939571)

In fact, it was the very meaninglessness of it that I wanted to point out in the first place.

Re:Damn nanny government (1)

Grashnak (1003791) | about a year and a half ago | (#42939583)

That would have worked had you not actually been factually incorrect in basic international law.

Re:Damn nanny government (0)

Lapithes (2765013) | about a year and a half ago | (#42939637)

I'm sorry but undemocratic law can stuff itself. The concept of citizenship is not limited to a juridical interpretation.

Re:Damn nanny government (0)

Grashnak (1003791) | about a year and a half ago | (#42939665)

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

So no one has Chinese citizenship then I guess.

I'm curious to see how far you're willing to go to avoid acknowledging such a basic point of fact.

Re:Damn nanny government (0)

Lapithes (2765013) | about a year and a half ago | (#42939721)

I don't understand why the distinction between word and concept is so hard for you. If the Chinese people somehow managed to have a referendum on their government and voted that it should be replaced I would from then on consider the Chinese people––Chinese citizens, because that happens to be their nation,––but not citizens to that government even if that government would ignore the referendum.

Re:Damn nanny government (2)

Grashnak (1003791) | about a year and a half ago | (#42939755)

Clearly you are a moron.

Citizenship is a legal term. It has legal meaning. You don't get to just make up your own bullshit definition.

International law recognizes the existence of EU citizenship. That fact that you don't just means you don't actually know what the word citizenship means.

Re:Damn nanny government (1)

Lapithes (2765013) | about a year and a half ago | (#42939853)

I feel so sad reading what you say, because it is clear you have never thought a thought of your own.

Re:Damn nanny government (1)

Your.Master (1088569) | about a year and a half ago | (#42939991)

Words mean things. It has nothing to do with whether you think independently. It has to do with whether you communicate effectively.

You have invented your own deviant definition of citizen but, appropriately, it has been democratically rejected.

Re:Damn nanny government (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42939963)

Nobody is a citizen of a government. They're citizens of countries, or cities, or empires, or other geographically-defined legal entities which are governed by a certain body of law.

The fact that such an entity usually has a government, which may or may not be democratic, is beside the point.

In practice, the usual rule is that any government that can make its word stick is considered 'legitimate', because anyone who wants to do anything with those citizens has to acknowledge that government. Again, whether it's 'democratic' or not has no bearing on anything - it's just the way things are. If you want to do business in China, you have no choice but to acknowledge and accommodate Chinese law and the rulings of the Chinese government, no matter what your personal opinion of them.

Re:Damn nanny government (1)

Grashnak (1003791) | about a year and a half ago | (#42939683)

Plus, of course, the Treaty of Maastricht was ratified by popular referendum in the countries of the EU. It was more or less popular in various countries, but it was democratically ratified. Not sure what you think it undemocratic about that.

Re:Damn nanny government (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42939745)

Actually a judicial interpretation is the only thing that ultimately defines anything in law, except in countries where there's a ruler capable of defining law by decree.

EU citizenship is an add-on anyway. Like an expansion pack. It gives me free movement within the EU, the right to live and work in any member state, and the right to vote in EU elections.

Which is the democratic part, yeah?

Re:Damn nanny government (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42939801)

Which is why the EU requires all member states to hold a referendum before joining. The population of the members have indeed accepted the EU.

Re:Damn nanny government (1)

Lapithes (2765013) | about a year and a half ago | (#42939863)

Which were then ignored (the European Constitution ones).

Re:Damn nanny government (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42939327)

The EU has governing bodies : the European Commission, Parliament and Council http://europa.eu/about-eu/institutions-bodies/index_en.htm
Its citizens are all the citizens of the member states

Re:Damn nanny government (0)

Lapithes (2765013) | about a year and a half ago | (#42939473)

The citizens of the EU's member states are citizens of their respective states; they may jauntily call themselves citizens of Europe or citizens of the world but until they decide democratically to be citizens of something other than their state it'd be unjust to consider them citizens of something other than their state no matter what anyone else says. That is, if you value their right to govern themselves.

Re:Damn nanny government (3, Insightful)

Grashnak (1003791) | about a year and a half ago | (#42939567)

As per multiple other comments, you clearly have no idea what you are talking about. But don't let your ignorance of international law get in the way of your pronouncements on the matter...

Again, since apparently you missed the first three or four times: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizenship_of_the_European_Union [wikipedia.org]

Re:Damn nanny government (0)

Lapithes (2765013) | about a year and a half ago | (#42939623)

Ad hominem. Plus you can't read.

Re:Damn nanny government (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42939723)

You are fucking stupid. Have you considered suicide?

All EU Member States have representative democracies. All representatives freely decided to enter the EU. All representatives are free to decide that their country should leave the EU.

Dir. 2004/38, decided and ratified unanimously by all EU member states, i.e. by their democratically elected representatives, establishes EU citizenship for all nationals of Member States.

Furthermore, any individual is able to reject EU citizenship by exactly the same procedure offered to them to reject nationality of their home Member State.

HTH, idiot. And yes, IAAL. This is why I haven't been on Slashdot for like half a decade. Nerds are even worse at thinking they understand law than lawyers are at understanding computers.

Re:Damn nanny government (0)

Lapithes (2765013) | about a year and a half ago | (#42939845)

Have you considered washing your mouth young man? Representative democracy is only democracy in part and for the remaining part I stand where I do on the issue of China above.

Re:Damn nanny government (0)

Lapithes (2765013) | about a year and a half ago | (#42939877)

Also, may I point out that I'm the only one debating with a modicum of taste here...?

Re:Damn nanny government (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42939935)

You're either a troll who tries too hard or a loud-mouthed stubborn fool who needs a dose of reality.

A simple "OK, I see I'm full of shit - I apologise for misunderstanding things and thank you for correcting me," would do fine. If you're angry, go spend a couple of minutes finding some good pron, jack off, and come back when you're calmer.

Or you can handwave an argument so obtuse that it results in the absurdity that no-one is a citizen of anywhere.

Re:Damn nanny government (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42939435)

'EU citizenship' is an umbrella term for 'citizenship of any EU member country'.

Re:Damn nanny government (0)

Lapithes (2765013) | about a year and a half ago | (#42939525)

I can be sympathetic to that. (Given that the crucial difference would be observed, of course.)

Re:Damn nanny government (1)

Grashnak (1003791) | about a year and a half ago | (#42939549)

I'm not sure what's sadder. That you think this is true or that a bunch of other people have modded you +5 interesting.

I'm sure all those EU citizens casting votes in the elections for the European Parliament, as outlined in the Maastricht Treaty, would be astonished to learn that they are imagining all of that.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizenship_of_the_European_Union [wikipedia.org]

Re:Damn nanny government (0)

Lapithes (2765013) | about a year and a half ago | (#42939613)

"I'm sure all those EU citizens casting votes in the elections for the European Parliament, as outlined in the Maastricht Treaty, would be astonished to learn that they are imagining all of that." Yet I'm sure the peoples who democratically rejected the EU constitution would be glad to remind them that they are.

Re:Damn nanny government (2)

Grashnak (1003791) | about a year and a half ago | (#42939651)

And I'm sure that the people who voted for Mitt Romney are unhappy, but that doesn't make Obama any less the President.

Look, basic point of fact - EU citizenship exists. It was established by one international treaty and expanded by a second. It has been interpreted and acknowledged extensively by international courts, and your apparent inability to comprehend that doesn't actually change that.

Multiple citizenship is a common enough thing - plenty of people have two or three citizenships. Everyone who is a citizen of an EU country is also a citizen of the EU. Explicitly.

Re:Damn nanny government (1)

Lapithes (2765013) | about a year and a half ago | (#42939671)

Exactly, democracy made Obama President, yet the EU constitution was democratically rejected by at least some of the peoples you call EU citizens. Thanks for making my point.

Re:Damn nanny government (1)

Grashnak (1003791) | about a year and a half ago | (#42939711)

Look. Clearly you have no concept of what you are talking about.

The treaty that established EU citizenship was democratically ratified by democratic vote in the countries of the EU in 1992 and 1993. It was DEMOCRATICALLY adopted according to the laws of all the countries involved.

The rejection of the European Constitution (note - NOT the EU Constitution) in 2005 by a couple of EU countries was an entirely different thing, that had nothing to do with EU citizenship, and which did not actually change the fact that EU citizenship had already existed for over a decade.

Re:Damn nanny government (1)

Lapithes (2765013) | about a year and a half ago | (#42939809)

You think citizenship means the right to vote in European election etc. all those things listen in that wikipedia article; I think citizenship means belonging to a state that is governed the way its people wants it to be governed. If you can't see this difference I don't know where to go with this.

Re:Damn nanny government (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42939983)

You are cuckoo.

The democratically elected representatives of each individual Member State decided in favour of all the Treaties and Directives relevant to EU citizenship.

That doesn't mean that every single citizen voted for those representatives, but it does mean they were elected on a national basis.

IOW each - individual - Member - State chose for EU citizenship to exist as currently defined.

In addition, the European Parliament was a second chance for legislation to be vetoed - the Parliament is elected directly by citizens of Member States. So the EU has more safeguards on undemocratic EU Treaties and Directives than individual countries have.

Indeed, most countries produce heaps of secondary legislation with no specific representative democratic oversight. There are a few places where the EU executive (Commission) is delegated the task of producing legislation, e.g. vis-a-vis competition Regulations. But the scope is much narrower than e.g. the scope for government to produce Statutory Instruments in the UK.

Re:Damn nanny government (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42939889)

Actually it does. One of the recent treaties made everyone who is a national of any of the EU member states an "EU Citizen".

Re:Damn nanny government (1)

node 3 (115640) | about a year and a half ago | (#42939423)

Your sarcasm was way too subtle. I suspect there are more than a few here that would agree with your statement without irony.

LOzzz!!! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42939185)

Eat it up, Fandroids. They're stealing your data for their profits!!!

Re:LOzzz!!! (3)

Qwavel (733416) | about a year and a half ago | (#42939371)

Sadly, that is the level of discourse common amongst fanbois of any camp. (I refer to the post I'm replying to.)

The summary isn't much better: the article accurately says that Google wants to consolidate user data across Google's "services", into "track users over multiple sites" which is quite different and not relevant to this issue.

Personally, I get annoyed at how often I have to re-enter data across the various Google services, because the different services aren't allowed to share data. I'm not attributing altruism to Google's change, but it still seems like progress to me.

I also don't appreciate the fact that they have many, complicated privacy policies, and I really appreciate the fact that this change reduces them all to one, much simpler, policy.

Re:LOzzz!!! (1)

Angua (1732766) | about a year and a half ago | (#42939463)

Personally, I get annoyed at how often I have to re-enter data across the various Google services, because the different services aren't allowed to share data.

I understand and appreciate your point, also the one about simplified privacy policy. But for me, it's the other way around. It freaks me out when I go from one site to another and my personal info follows me. I wouldn't mind so much if there was an opt out, but apparently there isn't.

Re:LOzzz!!! (1)

Qwavel (733416) | about a year and a half ago | (#42939691)

Yes, I think the lack of an opt-out is one of the issues. Practically, that would mean that Google would have two maintain two versions of their software - potentially another version for each country that rejects future changes. And their external systems, like Android, would need to be able to work with each different version. That sounds like a nightmare to me.

I tend to think of privacy in terms of companies: if Google knows something then I expect them to know it everywhere, but not sell it or leak it to anyone else.

If the distinction is finer then site: within the various services of the companies, it's tricky to know where the line is drawn because individual services are not always clearly divided and I think Google must make theirs more integrated if they are to move forward.

strange (2, Insightful)

Trepidity (597) | about a year and a half ago | (#42939229)

Google has a large legal team, so I assume not responding is deliberate, rather than because they forgot or just couldn't think of what to respond with.

Re:strange (4, Insightful)

Cley Faye (1123605) | about a year and a half ago | (#42939345)

The CNIL (a French agency checking privacy issues on internet) is almost powerless: they can barely "suggest" stuff to be done, maybe, once every new moon, even on France-only related issues. They can't propose laws or impose anything on anyone. I believe google is well aware of their power and responded adequatly :-)

Not saying that nothing should be done on the issue, but it won't work at such a small scale.

Re:strange (5, Informative)

Trepidity (597) | about a year and a half ago | (#42939555)

Ah it looks like you're right, at least in terms of any serious sanctions. They do have the authority to impose fines, but the fine amounts look so small I assume Google just doesn't care. In fact, from what I can find, Google currently holds the record for a CNIL fine: in 2011 they were fined 100,000 Euros [www.cnil.fr] over wifi data that was recorded by Google Street View cars. They didn't bother to send any response to the inquiry that time, either.

Fuck yeah (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year and a half ago | (#42939269)

Our government works for us, not the corporations who want to turn our private lives into profit.

Re:Fuck yeah (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42939309)

Yeah! We have a right to use Google's services! For free! Fuck bandwidth and development costs -- they're a corporation!

I have no problem with how Google tracks me. Why shouldn't I get to make the tradeoff? Don't like their terms? Use another provider.

Re:Fuck yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42939387)

The don't like it don't use it argument is the thing I'd expect an american to say.

We have a problem with how google tracks us and if they can't play by our rules they can look for another market or pay fines.

Re:Fuck yeah (3, Insightful)

Grashnak (1003791) | about a year and a half ago | (#42939427)

If you have a trouble with how Google tracks you, why would you object to the suggestion that you not use Google?

Oh wait, wanting stuff for free is the thing I'd expect a European to say.

See what I did there?

Re:Fuck yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42939641)

I see what you did there. Still, who wouldn't want stuff for free if it was possible?

Re:Fuck yeah (1)

toutankh (1544253) | about a year and a half ago | (#42939681)

"Not using Google" is not enough to prevent Google from tracking you. In case you're unaware of how it works, have a look here [wikipedia.org] . If you're already aware of how it works then I guess I'm just wasting my time...

Re:Fuck yeah (2, Interesting)

toutankh (1544253) | about a year and a half ago | (#42939689)

Wrong link in my comment above, here [wikipedia.org] is the correct one.

Re:Fuck yeah (2)

Grashnak (1003791) | about a year and a half ago | (#42939779)

You do realize that your browser reports your IP address to every website you visit, right? That's all Google Analytics gets if you aren't logged into a Google Account.

Re:Fuck yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42939905)

Wait, what?

To prove your point about GA's privacy invasion you linked to the article which basically says "There are some people voicing privacy concerns even though GA doesn't collect personally-identifiable information and there is a variety of Google's and third party solutions to block it"?

Re:Fuck yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42939731)

Yes, it is called bargaining and indeed works both ways. Also works collectively, which is what you are missing. Not using Google, individually, has little power as Google is a very large company, yet, collective bargaining (thorough democracy) is much more powerful. Why would this not be fair?

Re:Fuck yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42939325)

Our government works for us, not the corporations who want to turn our private lives into profit.

just don't use google then.

Re:Fuck yeah (5, Funny)

Cley Faye (1123605) | about a year and a half ago | (#42939367)

but you don't understand, peoples *have* to use google. I've seen it, if you don't use google's services, someone come at your house, put a loaded gun on the side of your head, and whisper softly in your ear "would you kindly log yourself into our services?".
Or maybe not, my memory is fuzzy on the details.

Re:Fuck yeah (3, Insightful)

node 3 (115640) | about a year and a half ago | (#42939487)

Visiting almost any site on the web means you are using Google. Google Analytics, Ads, and blogging platforms... This isn't some optional service that you can simply choose not to use, like Dropbox or MS Office.

Your argument is, practically speaking, like saying, "don't like lead pollution in the air from gasoline? just don't breath in the lead particles."

Re:Calling APK, APK to the service phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42939499)

There are a number of ways that you can make sure you don't use any google services while still using the web.

I don't remember them all, but I am sure APK could help you.

Re:Fuck yeah (2)

Grashnak (1003791) | about a year and a half ago | (#42939531)

You do realize that none of the services you mention actually collect any information about you beyond what your browser delivers to every website you visit. Unless, of course, you are logged in to a Google account... Which is the point.

Re:Fuck yeah (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about a year and a half ago | (#42939611)

Indeed. I use an Android tablet a lot these days. But I almost excessively run Firefox these days. Every once in a while I load YouTube to make sure FF is still not logged into the Googleplex.

Re:Fuck yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42939589)

However, you can choose to use the internet without google services. This isn't something that the government needs to regulate. A simple internet search on any number of search engines for "using the internet without being tracked by google" will give you all the direction you need. People use the internet with google services because its convenient. Those services aren't free, business pay for ways to use that information, and consumers forfeit a small amount of their privacy.

If you remember the internet before google, search engines were kind of a hit or miss affair, and the internet was much harder to use. You kind of had to be a geek at minimum to get any reasonable kind of mileage. That still stands today, if you want to use the internet without being tracked. You better learn to use it like a geek, or you are going to have a very difficult time.

Re:Fuck yeah (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | about a year and a half ago | (#42939785)

Visiting almost any site on the web means you are using Google. Google Analytics, Ads, and blogging platforms... This isn't some optional service that you can simply choose not to use, like Dropbox or MS Office.

It's pretty trivial to block *.google-analytics.com/* if you really have a problem with Analytics or their ads. People already use things like Adblock which automatically block their ads, it's really easy to add a rule to block google-analytics.com also.

Re:Fuck yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42939389)

Our government works for us, not the corporations who want to turn our private lives into profit.

just don't use google then.

Google will release new Pay Per Search Option to satisfy the users in the EU.

Re:Fuck yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42939335)

Um, no it is just another government shakedown for cash.

Re:Fuck yeah (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about a year and a half ago | (#42939719)

Um, no it is just another government shakedown for cash.

Given the size of fines in this sort of case, it's more like "shaking down" the couch Google was sitting in and picking up the change that fell out of its pockets.

Re:Fuck yeah (3, Insightful)

toutankh (1544253) | about a year and a half ago | (#42939629)

Especially when said corporations are not European and not government. France has no problem amassing ridiculous amounts of data (of questionable quality) to use against their own citizens, here is a list [wikipedia.org] (only available in French unfortunately).

Said differently: when your government does something that has a positive impact for you, it doesn't mean it's doing it for you. A pessimist would argue that there likely is a higher interest at stake.

Re:Fuck yeah (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year and a half ago | (#42939841)

Our government works for us, not the corporations who want to turn our private lives into profit.

HADOPI? It is undeniably true that France has a distinct distaste for data-hoovering American internet companies(how much out of a genuine commitment to privacy law, and how much out of an ongoing jealous spat over the surprising lack of data-hoovering French internet companies is somewhat unclear); but damn are they ever 'helpful' when it comes to protecting those culturally-vital copyright holders...

I bet google's plan (2)

ozduo (2043408) | about a year and a half ago | (#42939273)

is to purchase the EU and destroy all their Apple and Microsoft products , then the rest of the world is next!

I can see .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42939301)

Google just closing up shop in EU countries.. no more buildings owned or leased by Google and no more people employed by Google in the EU....
there are plenty other areas of the world to direct those resources towards.

Re:I can see .. (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year and a half ago | (#42939451)

Google just closing up shop in EU countries.. no more buildings owned or leased by Google and no more people employed by Google in the EU....
there are plenty other areas of the world to direct those resources towards.

yeah, right. are they going to switch to a chinese-taiwanese sandwich arrangement? and lose all their eu revenue? google isn't a charity you know.. for google it's not what they can give to eu but what they can get from eu. they're not going to pack up and leave. but they're not going to bother writing a new policy and separating their db's if not forced - it's too much work.

The stageplay of the EU (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42939303)

The EU is funding INDECT which will have automated scanning of all online communications.

But it will obviously only be used for detecting "child pornography" and "organ trafficking".

As in, you search through the online communications and profiles of every citizen in the EU to detect and expose organ trafficking, the major issue facing the EU right now.

Re:The stageplay of the EU (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42939315)

As an example: http://www.it.uc3m.es/~muruenya/papers/MCSS10XplicoAlerts.pdf

Deep packet inspection will assess you as a threat based on whether you exchange "terrorist-related images".

What Sanctions Can They Impose? (1)

Koreantoast (527520) | about a year and a half ago | (#42939349)

So I'm curious, what other possible sanctions can they impose on Google? Clearly they'll begin with some sort of fine, but are there other actions that they may take, and if so, what?

Re:What Sanctions Can They Impose? (1)

theVarangian (1948970) | about a year and a half ago | (#42939519)

So I'm curious, what other possible sanctions can they impose on Google? Clearly they'll begin with some sort of fine, but are there other actions that they may take, and if so, what?

I'm no expert in international politics but I'll take a jab at it.... The EU is a unified market area of over 500 million 1st world consumers. Google is not going to want pass up on an opportunity to make money in a place like that. If Google want's to make money in the EU it has to either have a presence somewhere in the EU or by some other means funnel cash from customers in the EU to wherever Google's favourite tax havens are at the moment. That gives the EU a way to make life hard for Google and also a motivation to make life rather easy for Google's competitors. For example, at the moment Google is, AFAIK, doing most of it's tax dodging in the EU via the Irish Republic. The EU has the Irish by the balls because of the 2008 financial crisis and all the EU commission has to do to make life unpleasant for Google is squeeze since it'll be hard for them to find another EU country willing to take Ireland's place knowing that the instant they invite Google in, the EU commission will be knocking on their door.

Re:What Sanctions Can They Impose? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42939657)

The EU does not in fact have over 500 million 1st world consumers unless you're using the term to mean "capitalists" or you've blocked out many of the recently added states that have more in common with Kazakhstan than Sweden.

Yes, please (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42939381)

As both an avid user of google's service and a proud European I absolutely am looking forward to this.
Why? Becaus keeping my data separated and under my absolut control is crucial. The EU must be fierce and must punish, not only with a couple hundred millions, Google for its lack of interest in our laws.

Re:Yes, please (4, Insightful)

Grashnak (1003791) | about a year and a half ago | (#42939471)

This is perhaps the single most stupid thing I've read on this topic. You admit to being an avid user of Google's services, yet you object to the "price" that they offer those services for. When you go to the grocery store, if you don't like the price of milk, do you demand that the government make the store give it to you for free?

Don't want to agree to Google's terms of use? I have a perfect solution for you - use somebody else's services.

Oh, and you're on the internet. Good luck with that fantasy of keeping your data under your absolute control...

Re:Yes, please (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42939675)

You don't like Europeans terms... well, you don't have to do business in Europe. It has been shown that if Google goes away other search engines flourish (although there is a the democracy discrepancy in the case study).

EU should really get their priorities straight (3, Insightful)

ccguy (1116865) | about a year and a half ago | (#42939391)

Seriously, EU, you should go after PayPal first. They are doing whatever the fuck they want over here.

Paypal, the criminal enterprise? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42939441)

or paypal the unregulated bank?

Re:EU should really get their priorities straight (1)

node 3 (115640) | about a year and a half ago | (#42939505)

ONLY ONE THING AT A TIME PLZ1!11

???

Besides, PayPal is sufficiently optional across the entire web with very few exceptions (beyond eBay, I'm not sure of anything of note that requires PayPal).

Re:EU should really get their priorities straight (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about a year and a half ago | (#42939687)

ONLY ONE THING AT A TIME PLZ1!11

???

Besides, PayPal is sufficiently optional across the entire web with very few exceptions (beyond eBay, I'm not sure of anything of note that requires PayPal).

Organizations and firms that require PayPal to conduct business with you aren't as rare as you might think. Or as rare as I used to think. This past year, I've dealt with 3. In two of those cases, I went ahead and did the deal. The third had viable non-PayPal-requiring alternatives. None were any sort of eBay (or auction) thing at all.

Re:EU should really get their priorities straight (1)

ccguy (1116865) | about a year and a half ago | (#42939701)

Besides, PayPal is sufficiently optional across the entire web with very few exceptions (beyond eBay, I'm not sure of anything of note that requires PayPal).

Try starting a online business in Europe. There's no google checkout or amazon payments, all paypal competitors seem as sketchy as paypal or worse, and the online payment solutions offered by traditional banks are an absolute joke.

Re:EU should really get their priorities straight (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42940033)

PayPal is a bank, based in Luxemburg, in the EU, with all the rules and regulations that entails. You Americans should do follow suit.

WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42939401)

Shouldn't this have been a matter to be brough before the World Trade Federation?

Re:WTF? (1)

Grashnak (1003791) | about a year and a half ago | (#42939507)

I believe the Trade Federation is still reeling from that Naboo fiasco and unable to fulfill its obligations.

the French (1)

drankr (2796221) | about a year and a half ago | (#42939491)

are beginning to annoy me..

Ridiculous (3, Insightful)

Maudib (223520) | about a year and a half ago | (#42939497)

No one is forced to use Google. If you don't want them to do things with your data, don't give it to them.

Re:Ridiculous (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42939653)

No one is forcing Google to do business in Europe either, and Europeans (through politics) are collectively bargaining with Google on the price of their service. Plus there is also this little tax issue...

Re:Ridiculous (3, Interesting)

tlhIngan (30335) | about a year and a half ago | (#42939667)

No one is forced to use Google. If you don't want them to do things with your data, don't give it to them.

How?

Avoiding Google owned properties eliminates a good chunk of the 'net - and not just obvious ones like google search, gmail, picasa, youtube, etc. The +1 buttons are everywhere, google-owned ads are everywhere (and not just adsense, we're talking about doubleclick, admob and other google-owned ad companies). Plus they have CDNs and other things like google-analytics.

If google were to disappear tomorrow, the internet would end up horribly broken - many websites use google analytics on every link in order to track you.

Google has literally reached a point where they are too big to fail

Re:Ridiculous (2)

tlhIngan (30335) | about a year and a half ago | (#42939705)

Also, don't forget about secondary tracking. Stuff like sending an email to someone who uses Google Mail (gmail or for domains, for example). In which case Google gets to violate your privacy as you didn't really agree to any privacy policy because you don't use google services nor agreed to them.

Re:Ridiculous (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42939975)

Means they need to be broken up into smaller companies. Right now.

Re:Ridiculous (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about a year and a half ago | (#42939693)

No one is forced to use Google. If you don't want them to do things with your data, don't give it to them.

As with facebook, the only winning move isn't to not play, but to not exist.

Re:Ridiculous (1)

Qwavel (733416) | about a year and a half ago | (#42939715)

Above I defend Google in this regard, but I think your statement goes too far. People gave Google their data under one set of privacy policies, now Google wants to change those policies unilaterally. I happen to think that the changes are good for users and necessary for Google to move forward, but I think it is OK to question any unilateral change like this.

Re:Ridiculous (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about a year and a half ago | (#42939867)

The EU isn't a free market, if Google wants to do business here (and apparently they do like some low-tax members) it has to obey EU laws. Consumer protection [wikipedia.org] is a well established form of regulation.
Now you are not forced to give Google your data, even if you use their services, as it's possible to opt out from tracking. This could probably have saved Google had they bothered to actually defend themselves.

I wonder... (1)

Greyfox (87712) | about a year and a half ago | (#42939677)

I wonder what would happen if Google just turned a country off. Just boom, no Google for you. No Google, no Gmail, no Youtube. I wonder if it'd make a noticeable impact on a GNP. Of course, Youtube and Google's other functionality might balance themselves out in terms of productivity gained or lost, so it might be a wash. At least, once the rioting quieted down.

Re:I wonder... (1)

Maudib (223520) | about a year and a half ago | (#42939777)

The French government would love this. I'm sure that at it's root their objection to Google is that its not French. Remember that god awful Parisian municipal network that was pushed by government but no one used?

Bing Toolbar spies on users ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42939941)

As we see it, this experiment confirms our suspicion that Bing is using some combination of:

* Internet Explorer 8, which can send data to Microsoft via its Suggested Sites feature
* the Bing Toolbar, which can send data via Microsoft's Customer Experience Improvement Program link [blogspot.co.uk]
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