A German Privacy regulator has shed light on the possibility that Google is in violation of the German Federal Telemedia Act and the Federal Data Protection Act.

Collection of user data for later use is in direct violation of privacy according to the Hamburg Commissioner of Data Protection and Freedom of Information. PC World reports “According to the view of the data protection authority the ongoing practice of user profiling affects the privacy of Google users far beyond the admissible degree,” it said.

Recently, Google had been provided with “a list of measures it could implement”, like explaining the purpose of collecting user info and the third party entities that will have access to this data. In a letter to Google published last month EU’s Article 29 Working Party, proposes guidelines adhering to EU’s individual national privacy laws. Parallel investigations are running independently in six European countries: Italy, France, Spain, Germany, Britain and the Netherlands.

The combining of its 60 privacy policies into one, collating all the data collected across its services, and the lack of the option to opt out for users had triggered the EU authorities to ask Google to modify its privacy policies.

Johannes Caspar, Hamburg’s privacy watchdog, told Bloomberg Businessweek in an email, that the terms of Google’s 2012 privacy policy allow the company to combine data it retrieves when customers use various services, including Gmail. “With that, one can compile detailed movement patterns, detect the social and financial status, and friendship, sexual orientation and the relationship status” of an individual, the regulator explained.

Klaas Flechsig, a spokesperson for Google said, “We cooperated during the whole process with the Hamburg data regulator. We showed how our privacy policies provide for easier and better services for users.”

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(Image Credit: Danny Sullivan)

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