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Saturday, March 10, 2012

France Against Google’s Privacy Rules

France has revolted against Google’s new privacy policy and has started an inquiry into their application. The press reported that French information protection outfit believes that the new privacy rules are too complicated and wonders if they violate European legislation.

The French regulator known as CNIL has written an angry letter to Google promising to lead a European-wide investigation of the search giant’s recent privacy policy and send it questionnaire in a fortnight.

Early in 2012, Google announced it was going to simplify its privacy policy by consolidating sixty guidelines into one, which will be applied for all the company’s services: YouTube, Gmail and Google+. At the same time, the company added that it is going to pool information it stored on individual users on all of its services, thus letting it to better tailor search results and improve overall service. There’s no choice for the users, because they can’t opt out of the new policy without quitting using Google’s services.

In response, the French regulator said that both CNIL and European information authorities are already deeply concerned about such combination of personal information across several services and express strong doubts about the legitimacy and fairness of this processing, as well as its compliance with EU data protection law.

The search giant was going to put the changes into effect this month and has replied to EU regulators to continue and multiply for asking for a delay. In the official press-release, the company said it would be happy to answer questions from the EU information protection authorities, but the privacy policies will be changed when scheduled anyway.

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