Companies want to present us with the internet that they think we want to see. They are hoping to obtain a clearer perspective on us so that they can filter and deliver the personalized ads that we see on a daily basis. It’s hard to escape the harsh reality today, that no matter what we do, companies are collecting our information constantly and tracking our every move, with or without our formal consent. This brings us to the most recent GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) violation against our top search engine, Google.
French regulators have fined Google for a significant amount of $57 million for breaching Europe’s stricter privacy rules, making this the most significant penalty up to date. This sizable fine against Google was for the failure to properly acquire the permission from users to collect their personal data for the use of targeted or personalized ads. French authorities also make the claim that Google’s methods of gathering are “particularly massive and intrusive,” and that Google doesn’t fully disclose to its users how their personal information is collected and how it is going to be used, which is one of the many GDPR requirements.
Google has defended themselves and their policies responded that they need to determine their next steps, but ultimately, in response, they have decided to appeal the fine.
Should we really have to sacrifice our personal information in exchange for access to a service? Be cautious when browsing or signing up for certain sites because even if you don’t formally give permissions for that company to use your information, you’re usually silently agreeing to it by signing up.