back to article Viv Reding: That French Google fine? Pfft - it's pocket money

Brussels' justice commissioner Viviane Reding may still be licking her wounds after her efforts to rewrite the EU's 19-year-old data protection law hit the skids late last year, but it hasn't stopped her from saying that companies like Google should be whacked with much bigger fines. Her comment came following a decision by the …

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Anonymous Coward

The Emperor's NSA Clothes

Many years ago there was an Emperor so exceedingly fond of new clothes that he spent all his money on being well dressed. He cared nothing about reviewing his soldiers, going to the theatre, or going for a ride in his carriage, except to show off his new clothes. He had a coat for every hour of the day, and instead of saying, as one might, about any other ruler, "The King's in council," here they always said. "The Emperor's in his dressing room."

In the great city where he lived, life was always gay. Every day many strangers came to town, and among them one day came two swindlers. They let it be known they were Google, and they said they could weave the most magnificent search imaginable. Not only were their colors and patterns uncommonly fine, but clothes made of this cloth had a wonderful way of becoming invisible to anyone who was unfit for his office, or who was unusually stupid.

"Those would be just the clothes for me," thought the Emperor. "If I wore them I would be able to discover which men in my empire are unfit for their posts. And I could tell the wise men from the fools. Yes, I certainly must get some of the stuff woven for me right away." He paid the two swindlers a large sum of money to start work at once....

snip

...."But nobody has got any clothes on," a little child said.

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Anonymous Coward

Don't fine them, ban the offending products from sale. Refuse to authorise street view, self driving cars and so on.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Don't fine them, ban the offending products from sale

Yes, a ban would be fine....

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Anonymous Coward

Don't fine them, ban the offending products from sale. Refuse to authorise street view, self driving cars and so on.

Child, bath water etc. The only viable way to hurt companies like that is to combine a fine based on estimated turnoever (to avoid playing with bookkeeping) with compulsory provision so that the company cannot threaten to shut down services (a ploy already used).

The aim is not to shut down companies, but to convince companies that compliance with laws should not be an afterthought to be considered after a fine, but a consideration before they go into business. Even more important is re-offending. One mistake is human, but a repeat is indefensible. If Google has the money to sponsor such a massive amount of lobbyists, it most certainly had the money to get decent legal advice and it is not the first time it's been found wanting in the privacy compliance aspect of what it does.

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"it most certainly had the money to get decent legal advice"

I'm sure Google did. The question to their lawyers was: How far can we go and what's the maximum fine at stake? They, too, then decided it was pocket money and well worth the risk.

Privacy laws (and the fines for breaching them) appear to be little more than a joke. This has to stop.

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banning no good, nor is fining them....same with all those books they copied and started selling on the internet (and people so worried about the movies....?)

JAIL THE INDIVIDUALS CONCERNED. WHETHER THEY BE ADMIN TEMPS OR THE CO, EVERYBODY INVOLVED.

then again i same the same about those psychos who break into people's homes, attack people, sell the happy slap footage to TV companies for entertainment...then sell your private data to their mates who come around and turn few hundred pounds worth of damge into several thousands worth....creep up behind people wearing disguises and shoot them repeatedly in the head.

pigyobs, sixty minute makeover---- why should it matter what the perps hair colour is, who their employer is, whether they have a penis or not or now much money they have?

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