Thursday, January 26, 2023

EU Regulators Tell Google to Change Its Privacy Policy

Regulators from the EU have sent Google a letter warning that it must change its privacy policy. The officials threatened the company with legal action if it does not address their concerns.

“French data privacy regulator CNIL – which led the inquiry – said the US company had ‘months’ to make changes,” reported BBC News. “Google has been told it should give clearer information about what data is being collected and for what purpose. It has also been told to give users more control over how the information is combined. It has been warned that if it took no action, CNIL would ‘enter a phase of litigation.'”

The Washington Post’s Hayley Tsukayama noted that the request is related to changes the company made to its privacy policy. “Google introduced its new privacy policy earlier this year, folding 60 of its services under a single policy. In a letter to the company, regulators said that Google does an inadequate job of informing users how data are shared and used. Regulators also raised concerns about how Google combines data across its services.”

The Guardian’s Charles Arthur explained, “[the CNIL] have determined that Google’s changes breached EU law because they did not give users any chance to opt out of the changes.”

The New York Times quoted Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin, the chairwoman of CNIL, as saying, “If Google does not implement these recommendations, we will pass to a different phase, a phase of sanctions.” The Times article also observed, “In France, CNIL has the legal ability to fine companies as much as €300,000 for privacy breaches. But whether CNIL will levy a fine, and whether other E.U. countries follow suit, remains unclear.”

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