Steetmap suit claiming Google uses "uncompetitive" practices follows announcement by six data protection authorities that they will sanction search giant for privacy noncompliance.
Google Nexus 7, Take Two: What To Expect
(click image for slideshow)
British online mapping company Streetmap has launched a court battle against Google, alleging that Google promotes its own maps over those of competitors like itself.
Google's actions have made Streetmap's products "harder to find," the Milton Keynes-based company says -- and that its charges reflect on-going European Union antitrust probes into whether Google favors its own services over competitors in search results.
"We have had to take this action in an effort to protect our business and attract attention to those that, like us, have started their own technology businesses, only to find them damaged by Google's cynical manipulation of search results," Kate Sutton, commercial director of Streetmap, told the Bloomberg news service Thursday. Details of the firm’s complaint were lodged in mid-March in a London court but are only now being made public.
Streetmap says it is a privately owned company with the owners managing and developing the business and that all its technology is self-created and managed, "from massive multi parallel software that powers the web engine to the high performance secure data centers that are used to deliver the mapping services."
The news comes during a rough period for Google in Europe. Last week, six European data protection agencies, in France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and the U.K., said they were contemplating legal action over Google's approach to privacy. The agencies say legal action is necessary because Google has refused to comply with a four-month deadline they set for it to change its internal data protection structures.
According to France's data watchdog agency, CNIL, which spearheaded the probe, Google did not change course despite a warning in a mid-March meeting with representatives of all six bodies. The U.K.'s Information Commissioner confirmed it was looking at Google's policy but said it could not add further comment because the investigation was ongoing.
InformationWeek's 2013 Government IT Innovators program will feature the most innovative government IT organizations in the 2013 InformationWeek 500 issue and on InformationWeek.com. Does your organization have what it takes? The nomination period for 2013 Government IT Innovators closes April 12.
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security EnterpriseTo learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Digital Transformation Myths & TruthsTransformation is on every IT organization's to-do list, but effectively transforming IT means a major shift in technology as well as business models and culture. In this IT Trend Report, we examine some of the misconceptions of digital transformation and look at steps you can take to succeed technically and culturally.