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European Regulators Call Google Privacy Changes Unlawful

  |  February 29, 2012   |  Comments

More concerns raised with radical privacy changes from search giant

Google's proposed privacy changes have been branded unlawful by a French data protection organization leading the European investigation into changes that are set to come into effect from 1 March.

Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin from the Commission Nationale de L'informatique et Des Libertes (CNIL), which is leading the Article 29 Working Party's investigation into Google's changes, said it does not believe they conform to European laws.

"Our preliminary analysis shows that Google's new policy does not meet requirements of the European Directive on Data Protection, especially regarding the information provided to data subjects," she said in the letter.

"The CNIL and the EU data protection authorities are deeply concerned about the combination of personal data across services: they have strong doubts about the lawfulness and fairness of such proceedings."

The organization urged Google to "pause" its plan to implement these changes and instead let more work be carried out on the implications for users' privacy.

But Google dismissed the concerns, claiming it had managed to reach a solution that it believes address data protection rules.

"Over the past month we have offered to meet with the CNIL on several occasions to answer any questions they might have, and that offer remains open," it said.

"We believe we've found a reasonable balance between the Working Party's recommendations: to ‘streamline and simplify' our policies while providing ‘comprehensive information' to users."

Despite Google's claims, the letter is just the latest in a long-line of high-profile organisation that have expressed concerns over its proposed changes, along with several US senators.

Rivals have also used the changes to attack Google, with Microsoft taking out ads trying to tempt users concerned with the changes to switch to its services.

This article was originally published on V3.


Dan Worth

Dan Worth is the deputy editor for V3 having first joined the site as a reporter in November 2009. He specialises in a raft of areas including fixed and mobile telecoms, data protection, social media and government IT. Before joining V3 Dan covered communications technology, data handling and resilience in the emergency services sector on the BAPCO Journal

View Dan's Google+ profile

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