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Spanish Regulator Fines Google 10 Million Euros For Transferring Data to Third Parties Illegally

Another privacy regulator has imposed a fine on Google for illegal data practices

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A logo is pictured at Google's European Engineering Center in Zurich

Another privacy regulator has imposed a fine on Google for illegal data practices. The Spanish Data Protection Agency (AEPD) accused Google of transferring users’ data to third parties illegally and also hindering their right to erasure.

The privacy regulator slammed the leading search engine with a 10 million Euro fine, saying Google transferred information of citizens, including their identification, e-mail address, etc to third parties.

It should be recalled that in September 2020, the French data protection authority imposed a $57 million fine on Google, its highest penalty under the new law, for failing to disclose how its users’ data is processed. Later in the same year, the French regulator fined Google and Amazon €100 million ($120 million) and Amazon €35 million ($42 million) for using tracking cookies without users’ consent.

Earlier this year, Investors King reported that France’s National Commission on Informatics and Liberty fined both Google and Facebook another $170 million and $70 million, respectively for making it hard for citizens to refuse cookies.

In Google’s latest fine, the Spanish regulator said Google’s actions contravene Articles 6 and 17 entrenched in the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). 

In a statement announcing the fine, AEPD said: “Google LLC acted as controller of the analysed processing, which was conducted in the United States. In the case of disclosure of data to third parties, the AEPD has found that Google LLC sent information of requests made to it by citizens, including their identification, e-mail address, the reasons given, and the URL claimed to the Lumen Project. The task of this project is to collect and make available requests for the removal of content, and the Agency, therefore, considers that, since all the information contained in the citizen’s request is sent for inclusion in another publicly accessible database and for dissemination via a website, the purpose of exercising the right of erasure results in practice frustrated.

“This communication of data by Google LLC to the Lumen Project is imposed on the user who intends to use Google forms, without the option of objecting to it and, therefore, without a valid consent for such communication to be made. Establishing such a condition for the exercise of the right to erasure granted to data subjects is in breach of the General Data Protection Regulation by generating “an additional processing of the data contained in the request for erasure when communicating them to a third party,” the Agency added.

Responding to the fine, Google stated that it has started reviewing the fine and will continue to engage regulators on privacy and how to reassess its practices. 

“We’re always trying to strike a balance between privacy rights and our need to be transparent and accountable about our role in moderating content online. We have already started reevaluating and redesigning our data-sharing practices with Lumen in light of these proceedings”, Google noted.

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk Given 22 Days Ultimatum by A U.S Court to Acquire Twitter

Following Elon Musk’s decision to opt-out of the $44 billion Twitter acquisition deal, a Delaware Court of Chancery in the United States has ordered the Tesla CEO to acquire the micro-blogging platform within 22 days.

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Following Elon Musk’s decision to opt-out of the $44 billion Twitter acquisition deal, a Delaware Court of Chancery in the United States has ordered the Tesla CEO to acquire the micro-blogging platform within 22 days.

The judge presiding over the case made the order following Musk’s decision to proceed with the acquisition of the social networking company 12 days before the court trial on the lawsuit Twitter filed against him. 

Musk had earlier opted out of the Twitter deal where he accused the platform of thwarting his information rights by not providing enough data on fake accounts on the platform.

Musk claimed in a tweet that Twitter is “20% fake/spam accounts” and suggested Twitter’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission were misleading.  The company had earlier disclosed that only less than 5% of its daily active users are spam accounts.

However, the Tesla CEO wasn’t convinced by the number of bots accounts twitter claimed were on the platform. He, therefore, insisted that his acquisition of the social media company cannot move forward until he sees more information about the prevalence of spam accounts.

It should be recalled that on May 27, 2022 Investors King reported that

Twitter also displeased by Musk’s action filed a lawsuit in the Delaware Court of Chancery, urging him to complete his $44 billion takeover of the social media company where it accused him of “outlandish” and “bad faith” actions that have caused the platform irreparable harm and “wreaked havoc” on its stock price.

Recently, during a court hearing after the judge at the Delaware court had given Musk a 22 days ultimatum, he asked that Twitter drop the initial lawsuit scheduled for October 17, but the social media company insisted that it would keep the litigation alive until the deal was concluded.

Musk had made the request stating that the lawsuit should be stepped down to enable him to raise the needed capital for the acquisition ahead of the October 28 deadline.

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Fund Raising

Purple Elephant Ventures Has Raised $1 Million Seed Fund to Modernize Africa’s Travel Sector

Purple Elephant Ventures (PEV) has raised $1 million in pre-seed funding to boost innovation in Africa’s tourism.

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Purple Elephant Ventures

Kenyan-based venture studio with a focus on Tourism, Purple Elephant Ventures (PEV) has raised $1 million in pre-seed funding to boost innovation in Africa’s tourism.

The venture studio seeks to achieve this goal by building creative startups from scratch focused on leveraging technology to scale tourism, as it plans to build about four startups at the intersection of travel, climate, and technology, every year.

Investors who took part in this recent $1 million pre-seed funding round include Klister Credit Corporation, a Canadian investment firm, and The Untours Foundation.

Also Angel investors such as Fede Pirzio-Biroli, founder of Playfair Capital; Ian McCaig, former CEO of lastminute.com and M-Kopa board member, Anthony Rock, president of Rock Impact Capital; Rich Hoops, executive director at Impact Capital; Jim Villanueva, managing director of Global Partnerships Social Venture Fund, and Helena Riese Harstad, co-founder and chair of the Optimizer Foundation.

Speaking on the recent seed raised and the startup mission, Purple Elephant Ventures CEO Ben Peterson said, “I think what’s exciting for the team is all of the possibilities to digitize tourism for a greener future. And one of the great advantages of working in a studio is that we get to play around with new innovative ideas all the time.

“We have what we call ideation sessions, where we have very structured conversations around examining the tourism industry from the perspective of building businesses that will help reduce the carbon footprint of Africa’s tourism industry.”

He further disclosed that despite the uncertainty in the tourism sector during the Covid pandemic period, the Purple Elephant Ventures team did not slow down on its efforts, rather they went on to launch two startups during that period, which are Elephant Bookings, a software service (SaaS) product, and Nomad.Africa, a content-to-commerce magazine.

Purple Elephant Ventures seeks to enable startups in the tourism sector raise enough capital to facilitate sustainability, as well as have an online presence to aid global scale.

Founded in 2020, the company’s mission is To build a portfolio of innovative companies that unlock the unrivaled economic power of tourism to protect and grow Africa’s natural capital.

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Telecommunications

MTN Celebrates Customer Service Week by Gifting Subscribers Airtime Top-up

MTN is celebrating its customer service week by gifting Airtime top-ups to its loyal customers through engaging activities on all its social media platforms.

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MTN

Mobile telecommunications giant MTN is celebrating its customer service week by gifting Airtime top-ups to its loyal customers through engaging activities on all its social media platforms.

The telecommunications giant is celebrating this year’s edition with exciting activities which include online competitions, trivia quizzes, giveaways, and lots more.

To participate in the Customer Service Week activities, subscribers are required to follow all the company’s social media accounts where all activities and information for the week will be communicated, Investors King understands.

MTN’s theme for this year 2022 Customer Service Week is “No US without U” where it is appreciating the loyalty of its customers and partners of the brand for over 20 years of partnership and loyalty.

Customer Service Week is an international celebration of the importance of customer service and of the people who serve and support customers on a daily basis.

The goal of the event is to emphasize the importance of customer satisfaction and also listen to customers as critical components of building a business. During this week customers are given different types of packages, such as gifts, rewards, and other exciting offers.

Speaking on MTN’s “Customers Service Week” and its commitment to customers, the Chief Customer Service Officer Ugonwa Nwoye said “Our customers mean so much to us, they are the reason we are thriving for more than two decades. This is why we will continue to work tirelessly to ensure our customers stay happy and satisfied.”

Customer service has been described as a core means of building brand loyalty and encouraging customer satisfaction. According to Forbes, It is reported that around 70% of American customers report they’re willing to spend more money with companies that provide excellent service.

In other words, a company’s excellent customer service can be one of the most powerful customer retention tools they will have.

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