Tomahawk, WI 12/20/2013 (BasicsMedia) – Changes which Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) made to its privacy policy last year could cost it more millions of dollars in losses. The company has just received a maximum fine of 900,000 Euros for allegedly breaking three Spanish data protection laws. Each of the three offenses carries a fine of 300,000 Euros.

However, the Internet search giant is yet to issue its formal response to the levies as it awaits the publication of the full report.

Since 2012 when Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) made tweaks to its Internet services which resulted in change of its privacy policy, it has been a subject of investigations in Europe.

It is claimed that the company was misbehaving by combining surrendered-user data and sometimes making it hard for users to delete their private information. But amid these accusations, the company has maintained it has never breached any privacy laws and has been vigorously fighting for its innocence.

Now that Spain has nailed it down and slapped it with such a huge fine, it is possible other European countries that had been outraged by Google Inc’s policy changes are going to take their proceedings against the company seriously.

Countries baying for Google’s blood

It has to be recalled that throughout the proceedings against its policy changes in Spain, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) fully co-operated and it is thus understandable when the company says it is waiting to see the full report before it can make a statement.

However, the company’s full co-operation and the subsequent nailing by Spanish privacy watchdog are ammunition that France and Netherlands, two other European countries with privacy issues against Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), could also exploit to fine it for the alleged violations.

The ongoing claims about privacy violation by Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) are rising from the fact that the company embarked on compiling and combining the surrendered data without the consent of the people whose information it was harvesting. Moreover, the company is faulted for having not clearly explained to users its new privacy terms. In some cases, lawyers against the company complained that even the so-called privacy policy language issued by the company was ambiguous.

The alleged data misappropriate is said to have been collected across some 100 different services offered by the company.

Proceedings against the company in Europe gained momentum this year as it became clear that the company was not doing anything about the complaints it was receiving from users.

Impact on reputation

For Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), paying for fines is not a big deal. Such fines are not even expected to dent its profit so much. However, the proceedings have dire impact on its reputation.

The company is currently trying to bring in more dollars by courting brand advertisers. This explains why it is retooling its operations in various business segments so that it can entice high-paying advertisers. But the company is facing growing competition from such companies as Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN), Yahoo! Inc (NASDAQ:YHOO) and many other companies that are vying for the online advertisement dollar. This means that it needs to spruce its image to win the competition. But now with these accusations, the company could find it hard to sell its services to the high-paying advertisers.

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