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May 19 2014

EU Calls for Much Bigger Fines for Data Breaches

"The EU's justice commissioner has called for bigger fines for companies that breach European data privacy laws. Viviane Reding dismissed recent fines for Google as ""pocket money"" and said the firm would have had to pay $1bn under her plans for privacy failings. Reding said such punishments were necessary to ensure firms took the use of personal data seriously and she wants far tougher laws that would introduce fines of up to 5% of the global annual turnover of a company for data breaches. The new proposals, currently under debate in the European parliament, aim to create a single EU regulator, which would be able to issue fines on behalf of all national watchdogs. The continuing row between Google and local data authorities was a case in point for why new laws were needed, she said. The Spanish data protection agency said that Google had collected information across almost 100 services but had not obtained the consent of people to gather information, or done enough to explain what would be done with the data. According to Reding, European trust in the way private companies store data is low"