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Google México faces sanctions over personal data

Bnamericas Published: Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Mexico's data protection and transparency institute (IFAI) said it has begun proceedings to impose sanctions on Google México for possibly violating the federal personal data protection law.

IFAI said it has taken the measure following a request filed in September by a Mexican national who sought to have his personal data erased from the popular search engine but obtained no response from Google México.

According to an IFAI release, Google México holds that its parent company, US-based Google Inc., is responsible for the search engine. But the Mexican watchdog says that, by establishing operations in the country, the local unit of the search giant is responsible.

"With this resolution, Mexico joins those countries that have set a precedent of holding the international company responsible for the processing of personal data when it provides search engine services," said the IFAI.

Google has been fined for breach of national protection laws in several European Union countries.

In Latin America, Google was fined US$200,000 in Brazil for failing to cooperate with federal police over a corruption probe involving state-run oil firm Petrobras last year.

Similarly to the Mexico investigation, Google originally blocked the request on the grounds it could not act outside US jurisdiction. The company paid the fine after agreeing to work with investigators.

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