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European regulators tell Google to get its privacy policy issues sorted

Published: February 19, 2013 | 8:47 am
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Early last year when Google revealed that it would be combining its privacy policy across all its services, many people cried foul, stating that such a move allowed it to gather far too much information about its users. Google contended that the short, simpler privacy policy is something that users prefer, and that having one policy across multiple products and/or services is not uncommon. European regulators quickly jumped on the change, however, and after some back and forth, they still aren’t satisfied with how Google has handled the issue.


Earlier today, European regulators announced that they will proceed against the search engine giant over issues with its one-policy-to-rule-them all method. Although the single privacy policy is not against the law, it is being viewed as a high-risk practice, putting users’ private information in a vulnerable position. Initially, the French National Commission for Computing and Liberties, more commonly known as CNIL, was pulled in to decide whether the single privacy policy put EU users’ data at risk. That same watchdog will once again look into the issue, stating that Google failed to address the problems it had outlined.

Said CNIL, “Google did not provide any precise and effective answers. In this context, the EU data protection authorities are committed to act and continue their investigations. Therefore, they propose to set up a working group, led by the CNIL, in order to coordinate their reaction, which should take place before summer.”

Google disagrees, however. According to the company, it had responded to the CNIL in early January of this year with a series of actions it had taken to deal with the concerns. Said Google spokesman Al Verney, “We have engaged fully with CNIL throughout the process and will continues to do so.” He also pointed out that the privacy policy does not violate the law.


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