The disconnect between Google and European privacy authorities shows little sign of reaching a conclusion any time soon. Google’s stepped up lobbying efforts are only backfiring, according to analysis in Venture Beat.
European privacy regulators once again rebuked Google last week for its stepped up efforts to tie data gathering initiatives across its portfolio of platforms. The specific order last week, was issued by German authorities who informed Google that it was in violation of German law.
Then there’s the securities issue that has been bedeviling Google for several years. Google and the European Commission were on the verge of reaching a settlement to an ongoing EC antitrust violation when officials asked Google to make more changes to the terms.
The ongoing nature of the disputes is illustrative of two issues. The first is differences in expectations about privacy in Europe and the United States. The U.S. public has become accepting or perhaps resigned to the fact that privacy is going the way of the dinosaur, or being redefined, depending on your take on it. Europeans are less willing to let go, or at least that’s the view of proactive European regulators.
The second issue is more speculative. It is whether the EC resents the fact that it is a U.S. company that’s moving in on privacy. That’s a double whammy that might be just a bit too much to take for some in the EC. From a U.S. perspective it rings of anti-competitiveness. But I can understand an ambivalence to give up privacy in the name of Google profits. What’s perhaps missing is an understanding of what might be possibly gained by Google’s data grab.