Google criticised in Europe over privacy and regulation

Calls for laws on ‘right to to be forgotten’ and ‘neutral platform’

Google is under fire in Europe on two fronts: Chris Ison/PA Wire

Google is under fire in Europe on two fronts: Chris Ison/PA Wire

 

Google was under fire on two fronts in Europe yesterday as privacy watchdogs told it to apply the “right to be forgotten” globally and German ministers pushed for laws to make its search engine a “neutral platform”.

The developments crown a difficult week for the US technology group, which has already seen Capitol Hill hit out at a European parliament resolution advocating Google’s possible break-up.

The non-binding motion is expected to be passed Thursday.

Fuelling Google’s difficulties is a letter sent by four German ministers to the European Commission, urging the EU’s executive arm to consider far-reaching legislation to regulate internet platforms so “positions of economic power remain open to competition”.

The 11-page paper, whose lead signatory is the German economics minister Sigmar Gabriel, argues it may be necessary to introduce “platform neutrality” to tackle abuses of dominance, either through tough antitrust enforcement or new legislation.

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– (Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2014)