Learn from Google's mistakes! Avoid similar legal issues

You can't be a web giant as big as Google and be responsible for so much user data without running into a legal issue here and there. The company has already come under-fire for how it has implemented the "right to be forgotten" ruling, and has been asked to stop describing apps with in-app purchases as being free.

Now the Mountain View-based giant is coming under fire from the EU for how user data is combined across services without an opt-out. For example, your data is used across Gmail, YouTube, and Google Maps without any way of opting-out of each.

The distaste the move had could well have put the nail in Google+'s coffin.

In fact, EU officials say Google has consolidated 60 separate privacy policies into one bumper package which has caught the attention of regulators. The officials, known as the Article 29 Working Party, have provided guidelines to Google to help bring the way the company collects and stores user data in-line with EU law.

In January France's data protection authority, the CNIL, fined Google 150,000 euros ($191,100) for failing to bring its new privacy policy in line with local law.

Google also faced a backlash from its users for forcing YouTube viewers and creators to have a Google+ account; a move which was criticised as just being an attempt to boost usage of its social network. It was seen as an invasive and forceful method which was even questioned by ex-Google employees.

Vic Gundotra, Google senior VP and head of Google+, departed the company with little explanation earlier this year with many speculating as a result of this decision. 1,000-1,200 employees who were working on Google+ were also reshuffled to other projects within Google, primarily Android. The distaste the move had could well have put the nail in Google+'s coffin.

Whilst few developers are responsible for the amount of data as Google, it is worth taking their mistakes and reminding yourself of how user data should be dealt with and protected to avoid future repercussions. It is also worth considering how to get users to use new services without being forceful to prevent the kind of backlash Google faced with the YouTube community which could break a product completely.

Do you think Google should be more responsible with user data? Let us know in the comments.

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