Google’s Response To EU Regulators Over Request To Pause Its New Single Privacy Policy Update

Posted on Feb 3 2012 - 5:50pm by Editorial Staff

As we reported earlier, a group of European regulators, Article 29 Working Party has asked Google to halt the process of its new privacy policy – suggesting they need to investigate whether the proposals truly protects users’ personal data or not. The Article 29 Working Party, an independent body that brings together data protection authorities from each of the EU’s 27 countries and the EU’s executive European Commission, said it needed to examine Google’s plans more thoroughly before the search group’s policy comes into effect on March 1.

The letter to Google was written by Jacob Kohnstamm, Chairman of the Article 29 Working Party, which constitutes representative from the data protection authority of each EU Member State, the European Data Protection Supervisor and the European Commission. Google has written a fairly comprehensive response to EU regulators that were asking the Internet giant to “pause” the rolling out of its privacy policy updates.

Peter Fleischer, Global Privacy Counsel at Google, has given a fairly extensive response to the EU regulators pause request. The letter starts, saying, “Thank you for your letter about Google’s plans to update our privacy policies. As you know, we met many of your counterparts in other countries in the weeks before we announced the change. VVe remain committed to open dialogue on this important topic, and we’re happy to answer your questions about our updated privacy policy, that is publicly available on our site at Given the misconceptions that have been spread about these changes by some of our competitirs, we wanted to take this opportunity to clarify a few points.”

Added further to this, Fleischer stated, “There are two reasons why we’re updating our privacy policies: to make them simpler and more understandable, and to improve the user experience across Google. First, simplicity. Google started out in 1998 as a search engine, but since then, like other technology companies, we’ve added a whole range of different services. Gmail, Google Maps, Google Apps, Blogger, Chrome, Android, YouTube, and Google+ are just a few of our many services now used by millions of people around the world. The second reason is to create a better user experience. Generally speaking, the main Google Privacy Policy applies across Google, allowing data to be used generally to improve our services, unless it is limited by a specific restriction in the privacy notice for a particular service.”

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