Google is once again facing backlash from the Italian government. Earlier this year, an Italian antitrust regulator spoke out in disapproval of the company’s freemium app sales model and now, the country’s data protection regulator has given Google an ultimatum to change its data collection practices. The regulator today gave Google 18 months to change the way it treats and stores user data. This is a continuation of the investigation that Google has been undergoing in Europe for some time now.
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The investigation started when Google combined all 60 of its privacy policies into one and started combining user data it collected on all of its services. Google offered no option for users to opt out. The Italian watchdog stated on Monday that Google still does not offer adequate information on how user data is treated.
The watchdog is giving Google 18 months to comply with the regulator’s requests, which include not using user data without their prior consent and explicitly explaining how the data would be used. The regulator also wants Google to comply with user requests to delete data within two months.
Should Google fail to comply with these requests, it could face up to 1 million euros in fines, according to sources. A spokesperson for Google said that the company has always cooperated with the regulator and will continue to do so, although it will carefully review the regulator’s decisions and requests before making any further moves.