Tuesday 16 July 2019

Google optimistic it can beat €50m data fine

Stock photo: Reuters
Stock photo: Reuters
Gavin McLoughlin

Gavin McLoughlin

GOOGLE is "optimistic" that it will win an appeal against a €50m fine it got in France for breaching data-privacy rules.

It was the first major fine under new European rules known as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). France said Google wasn't getting adequate consent to process users' data and serve them with personalised ads.

Speaking at an event in Dublin yesterday, Google's chief privacy officer Keith Enright said Google thinks the "application and interpretation of the law by that court didn't reach the right outcome".

"We are optimistic that upon review we will be able to demonstrate that in fact the way that we obtained consent in the context of our products and services actually does reach an appropriate standard under the GDPR," he said at an event organised by the Institute of International and European Affairs.

Mr Enright defended the concept of processing user data and using it to generate personalised ads.

He said the money Google generates from those ads helps it to provide products - like its search engine or maps service - for free.

"We build products and services for everyone. And we have subsidised that work with an ad-supported business model."

He also said the personalised model helps Google users.

"It also allows for free apps, it allows for independent media to flourish, it allows for content creators all over the world to make their content available to the broadest possible audience all over the planet."

"We remain convinced that these goals of strong privacy protection and allowing products and services to be made available all over the world are entirely consistent and that they can be reconciled."

Mr Enright said the company was trying to help users understand how their information is being collected and processed, so that they can opt out if necessary.

This process can also help users learn how having their data processed can be a good thing because it improves the quality of service they get, he added.

Irish Independent

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