Google Faces Potential Fines, Criminal Charges In Italy [Report]

Chris CrumBusiness

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Google continues to walk down a rocky road in Europe as it now faces fines and potential criminal charges if it does not meed requirements set by regulators in Italy.

The company has been dealing with numerous regulatory issues throughout the continent. In addition to a lengthy antitrust probe, Germany mulling regulating the company like a utility, and that whole "right to be forgotten" mess, Google also continues to face concerns related to a privacy policy it implemented a couple years ago.

The policy, which was essentially the consolidation of various Google products' policies into a singular policy, enabling Google to use data from one of its services to the next, was implemented in 2012. While it's been mostly accepted here in the U.S. by this point, it has remained a hot button issue throughout Europe, especially in France.

Google has already been fined in France and Spain over the policy, and still faces action in the UK and Netherlands. Italy, it is being reported, has given Google 18 months to comply with its demands. Reuters reports:

The Rome-based regulator said Google would not be allowed to use the data to profile users without their prior consent and would have to tell them explicitly that the profiling was being done for commercial purposes. It also demanded that requests from users with a Google account to delete their personal data be met in up to two months.

A spokesman for Google said the company had always cooperated with the regulator and would continue to do so, adding it would carefully review the regulator’s decision before taking any further steps.

Google, according to the report, has agreed to present the government with a document detailing its plan of action by the end of September. The company reportedly faces a fine of a million euros and possible criminal proceedings if it fails to comply.

Image via Google

Chris Crum

Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.