EU watchdogs to take action against Google privacy policy this summer, says regulator

By Peter Gothard
19 Feb 2013 View Comments
A delete button for data privacy

French EU privacy regulator CNIL is to take action against Google this summer, according to a statement the body has released on its website.

CNIL's statement explains how after several months of investigation, European data protection authorities asked Google "to improve data subjects' information and clarify the combination of data across Google's services" with regard to the company's practice of combining user data across the company's various services in order to target advertising and other services.

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CNIL's statement goes on to say, "Regulators allowed Google four months to implement these recommendations, but no response has been provided by the company."

Thus, says CNIL, "on 18 February, European data protection authorities have noted that Google did not provide any precise and effective answers to the recommendations," and so the authorities are now "committed to act and continue their investigations".

A working group, led by the CNIL, will co-ordinate enforcement action, says the statement, which should take place before summer.

Google has since issued a statement on the matter, saying, "Our privacy policy respects European law and allows us to create simpler, more effective services. We have engaged fully with the CNIL throughout this process, and we'll continue to do so going forward".

Google's linked data policy came into effect on 1 March 2012, and has been under fire from various commentators and regulating bodies, not to mention the firm's rival Microsoft, ever since.

The company also found itself under fire from the UK data watchdog the ICO and the US Federal Communications Commission last year after its Street View vehicles - which collect data to build the first-person portions of Google Maps - apparently collected data such as email addresses and passwords as they passed through Wi-Fi signals.

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