“Europe is threatening to punish Google for its use of personal data,” announces Le Monde. At an Article 29 Working Party meeting held on February 18, Europe’s national data protection agencies approved a plan to take action against the American group on February 26.

The European privacy watchdogs believe that the search engine giant’s use of personal data “does not comply with European law.” France’s Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés (CNIL), which is the current president of the Article 29 Working Party, had warned “Google to ensure compliance by February 15, 2013”. But faced with “Google’s display of bad grace,” the CNIL has decided to take the matter further.

The goal of the procedure is to decide on a punishment “before the summer”. If the 27 national data watchdogs agree, fines will then be imposed by each national jurisdiction. In France for example, Google may have to pay as much as €300,000 for each non-compliant service.