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Thursday, June 7, 2012

France Against Google

Google has been defending from the complaints of the French data protection outfits. The search giant claims that its new privacy policy is legal and the company is educating its users about the ins and outs of it.

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The country’s Commission Nationale de l'Informatique (aka CNIL) is currently investigating the new privacy policy of the online giant, as it is actually the Supreme Dalek of data protection regulators in 27 member states of the European Union. The Commission Nationale de l'Informatique has already announced that it has really strong doubts that the company’s approach to privacy complies with EU legislation.

The outfit has penned a missive to the company, demanding Google to provide explanation on what it does with its user information it collects, how long it stores it, and whether it can be linked to the user’s real identity, along with the legal justifications.

According to Jacob Kohnstamm, the head of the Dutch data protection authority, if the search giant persists in its current plan, it may face serious problems. The Commission Nationale de l'Informatique was ready to give the company from a week to a few months to fix things, otherwise they threatened to fine Google into a coma. Meanwhile, the other members of the European Union can deal with it differently.

In response, Peter Fleischer, the giant’s global privacy counsel, explained that Google has always been committed to providing its users with comprehensive privacy information and was as well happy to meet EU regulators and explain how the system it sticks to works. According to the search giant, the company is simplifying its privacy policy by consolidating sixty guidelines into a single one. This only guideline will then apply for all Google’s services offered worldwide.

However, there is something that makes the privacy watchdogs become concerned. This is about the fact that the company pools information it collects on individual users through its services. Google says that this feature allows it to “better tailor search results” as well as “improve service”. Of course, you can understand that it means that the company would be able to hit each user with better personalized advertisements and nothing else. Unfortunately, users can’t opt out of this feature. 

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