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Technology
Google Faces Dutch Privacy Fine
From the Wall Street Journal of Mon, 15 Dec 2014 15:00:09 EST
Dutch privacy watchdog DPA said Monday that Google collects and combines personal data for advertising purposes, but without asking users for consent.
Dutch privacy watchdog DPA said Monday that Google collects and combines personal data for advertising purposes, but without asking users for consent. Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

AMSTERDAM— Google Inc. could face a fine up to €15 million ($19 million) in the Netherlands for allegedly breaching the country’s data-protection laws.

Dutch privacy watchdog DPA said Monday that Google collects and combines personal data for advertising purposes, but without asking users for consent.

The data are collected via Google’s search engine, YouTube and other services, and include information about search queries and videos watched by users, it said.

“Google catches us in an invisible web of our personal data without telling us,” said DPA chairman Jacob Kohnstamm. “This has been ongoing since 2012 and we are hoping our patience will no longer be tested.”

Google wasn’t immediately available for comment.

Google, which handles more than 90% of Web searches in Europe, has similar disputes with authorities Germany, France and the U.K. It comes as U.S. tech companies are confronted with a growing push of European authorities to curtail their power.

DPA said Google has until the end of February to comply with the Dutch regulations.

Write to Maarten van Tartwijk at maarten.vantartwijk@wsj.com



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