Google threatened with sanctions over data

AFP reports:

Brazilian authorities have given Google Brazil 15 days to turn over user information from websites that promote criminal activity, threatening the company with 23,000 dollars in daily fines if they do not comply.

Filed through a district court in Sao Paulo, the judicial order on Thursday noted that Google had so far “unsatisfactorily met” investigators’ data requirements, preventing them from identifying criminal elements using the Internet service.

The government, monitoring online messages for possible crimes, wants the US company to turn over users’ personal information to curb violence, racism, discrimination, pornography and child abuse.

Should Google Brazil refuse to comply fully with the demand, the judicial order provides for levying a 23,000-dollar fine for each day of non-compliance.

I suppose $23,000 a day for the rest of time adds up, but that kind of money isn’t likely to move Google. I think that’s the interest on their paper clip budget. Maybe that’s why “The interior minister is asking for 61 million dollars — one percent of Google’s worldwide gross income in 2005 — in ‘collective moral damage’ it insists Orkut has inflicted.”

I always wondered what the proper damage factor was for collective moral damage. Turns out it’s one percent of worldwide gross income. I’ll keep that in mind — that could be handy.

UPDATE:  Google complied — in Brazil, anyway.

UPDATED SOME MORE:  That was nothing compared to what’s in store for Google in Europe.

Ron Coleman

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