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France threatens Google with privacy fines

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France is giving Google three months to be more upfront about the data it collects from users — or be fined.

The legal action accelerates a Europe-wide fight against Google over its use of personal data. While the fines threatened are small by the standards of one of the world’s richest companies, the move puts new pressure on Google as it smarts from recent criticism over providing customer data to US government surveillance efforts.

The French agency that regulates information technology says that five other European countries are taking similar steps against Google’s privacy policy between now and the end of July.

France said Spain has joined it in the first wave of legal action Thursday, and that Britain, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands will join in the coming weeks.

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