Google legal chief: privacy laws too hard on SMBs

EU

Proposals aimed at controlling big companies' data use would hurt SMEs

Google’s chief lawyer has launched a tirade against Europe’s proposals to increase regulation of data.

Writing on his personal blog, Peter Fleischer said plans to clamp down on how big companies, such as Facebook and Google, handle data would be disastrous for small and medium businesses.

Google is currently facing European probes into a variety of privacy issues and Fleischer said data rules intended to control large companies would trickle down and result in a barrage of complicated regulation and red tape.

I wonder how an SME could possibly deal with this paperwork and process torrent, and how they're supposed to pay for it

“Politicians are furiously running around giving media interviews about how this will rein in Facebook or Google, as though all of Europe's privacy laws should be written for one or two companies,” he wrote on his personal blog.

“Trying to write a privacy law to 'rein in' Google or Facebook is a sure recipe for writing a bad privacy law that would apply to all companies in Europe.”

Citing ongoing discussions among European officials to impose data-breach notification, fines for “routine” data protection lapses and a requirement to have data protection officers, Fleischer said SMEs would struggle to meet their requirements.

“For big companies, it's not a big deal if the data protection 'compliance tax' increases by a few million ‘new pesetas’ or ‘new lira’,” he said.

“Frankly, I wonder how an SME could possibly deal with this paperwork and process torrent, and how they're supposed to pay for it.”

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