Free Newsletters :

EU Warns It May Take Action Against Google

The search giant failed to meet Europe's deadline for changing its practices.
Posted February 19, 2013
By

Cynthia Harvey


When Google made changes to its privacy practices, the EU warned the company that it was in violation of European regulations and gave the company a deadline for changing its ways. Now the regulators say Google missed the deadline and they threaten to take action by this summer.

The BBC reported, "EU watchdogs plan to take action against Google by this summer over the web giant's current privacy policy, French privacy regulator CNIL has said. Since March, Google has been combining data from across its sites to potentially better target adverts - which regulators see as 'high risk' to people's privacy. Last October, the firm was given four months to revise its policy."

The Register's Rik Myslewski added, "At the time of the original October letter, Google's global privacy counsel, Peter Fleischer, said that his company was reviewing the regulators' findings and recommendations. 'Time's up, Pete,' the CNIL has now said – in so many words, that is. Having not been provided, as CNIL put it, with 'any precise and effective answers to their recommendations,' the EU regulators will now continue their investigation and convene a working group 'in order to coordinate their repressive action which should take place before summer.'"

ZDNet's Liam Tung noted, "It's not the first time European watchdogs have found Google less than forthcoming on the subject of privacy: in January 2012 the regulators accused the company of providing 'incomplete or approximate' answers to questions about how data would be handled under the unified policy that they had raised at the time. 'In this context, the EU data protection authorities are committed to act and continue their investigations,' CNIL said."

The Wall Street Journal's Sam Schechner observed, "The clash over Google's privacy policy, which lets the search giant mix data between services like Gmail and YouTube, highlights how Europe's data-privacy agencies are looking to assert themselves against Web giants. Leaders of the national privacy commissions have said they hope to set a global example for the treatment of personal data, and have mounted inquiries into Google and Facebook Inc., among others. 'We're better armed when we speak with one voice than when each country takes its own steps,' Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin, head of the CNIL, said in an interview Monday. Ms. Falque-Pierrotin said it was too early to say what form any coordinated enforcement action against Google might take, but she said Monday's declaration indicated that the CNIL and other regulators were ready to impose sanctions. Penalties for violating data-protection rules vary by country, with French fines reaching as high as €300,000 ($401,000) for repeat infractions."




Tags: Google, privacy, EU, regulators, Europe


0 Comments (click to add your comment)
Comment and Contribute

 


(Maximum characters: 1200). You have characters left.