EU Plans Tougher Stance on Online Privacy

Lora Bentley
Slide Show

Check out highlights from Lora's poll of industry experts on the topic of online security.

This week the United Kingdom completed its investigation into whether Google's Street View Wi-Fi data collection debacle violated the country's data protection laws.


FierceBroadbandWireless reports the UK Information Commissioner's Office found the company did violate the law. However, the ICO will not impose fines. Google collected most of the data at issue before the ICO had the authority to enforce the Data Protection Act. Moreover, a fine requires proof that the data breach was likely to cause substantial harm, and such proof would be difficult in this case, according to the agency.


The ICO will audit the company's data-protection practices within the next month and will face "further action" if it cannot demonstrate that data is protected going forward.


The European Union, however, will no longer take a similar wrist-slap approach to privacy violations. Officials announced Wednesday that they will prepare tougher privacy rules for companies such as Google and Facebook beginning next year. According to Reuters, the EU wants to give more power to data-protection authorities in each of its member countries to give people more control of their information online.

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