Google Inc (GOOG): France is One Thing, but Now Wyoming Too?

When it comes to privacy, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) just can’t seem to get a break. While its primary revenue driver is through advertising, Google Inc has made no bones that the key to successful revenue generation and successful advertising comes from targeted advertising.

And often, in order to target that advertising, advertisers would need a lot of information. or data, about potential customers. And Google Inc has made its living on gathering trillions upon trillions of pieces of data on a large number of users in an attempt to develop advertising opportunities that are virtually fool-proof for the advertisers Рwhich then makes Google Inc ads more valuable. But in the process of gathering all that data, odds are pretty decent that Google Inc would successfully gather some personal information about users Рinformation that users may not want known while they are surfing the Internet.

Like who really needs to know the name and address of a visitor to a website, other than to advertise to that user later? Malls dont’ gather names and addresses of window shoppers, so what is the difference?

Anyway, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) continues to have trouble with its privacy invasions – even in its own backyard.

Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)

No looking Glass in Wyoming?

Though Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has not released its Glass wearable computer to the masses as of yet, the privacy-invasion implications have been running high ever since the explorer program came out and 15,000 lucky guinea pigs have been testing the device in their everyday lives. And inthe state of Wyoming, a new anti-Glass campaign has begun that has been waged in several other states already.

A state lawmaker in Wyoming has indicated that he may introduce a bill banning drivers from using Google Glass while behind the wheel. This would be a specific form of distracted driving and would be subject to a $75 fine, according to state Sen. Floyd Esquibel. Four other states reportedly hve bills in their legislatures that also would specifically ban Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s flagship wearable device while driving.

France actually does something

Meanwhile, across the pond, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has been working over a series of privacy and anti-trust violations alleged by various European regulators and watchdogs, and after months of posturing and bluster by several of the authorities (including the European Commission), the Grench government has finally acted and handed down a fine to Google Inc for its privacy violations.

France has said that Google Inc has not done enough in its privacy policy to specifically address the types of personal data the company gathers and how long it stores the information, among other issues. As Google Inc has maintained that the policy does comply with European data protection laws, it has not changed the policy to address France’s concerns, so the data privacy watchdog CNIL handed down a fine equivalent to $204,000.

Not exactly earth-shaking for Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), but will it send a message? How many more countries will follow suit to finally inflict some damage to Google Inc’s bottom line? Guess we’ll have to wait and see over the next few weeks and months.




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