updated 06:42 pm EST, Thu December 19, 2013
Spain data protection agency claims Google improperly informed citizens of practices
Google has been fined 900,000 euro ($1.23 million) for violating Spain's data protection law. Google was accused of combining personal information from its various online offerings such as Google Mail and Google+, and not informing Spanish users on the search engine giant's plans for the data collection. The fine is approximately half the amount the company earns in profits per day from advertising.
Probes in Spain and other European countries began in 2012 when Google changed its terms of service to allow for data collection from users of its services. Six European countries are examining Google's data use of its citizens.
The Spanish Agency for Data Protection said in a statement that "inspections have shown that Google compiles personal information through close to 100 services and products it offers in Spain, without providing in many cases the adequate information about the data that is being gathered, why it is gathered and without obtaining the consent of the owners."
The report by the agency claims that Google didn't inform the Spanish populace adequately that it was examining content in emails for context-appropriate advertisement. Additionally, when the users were finally informed, Google didn't explain the matter precisely, nor did it give data retention times, which are required under Spanish law.