French Data Protection Authority: Google’s ‘Single And Giant’ Privacy Policy May Violates European Law

Posted on Feb 29 2012 - 10:18am by Editorial Staff

The Data Protection Authority, France has requested the search giant Google to delay the launch of its new privacy policy as it appeared to violate European Union Law, the request comes just two days before Google new “big and single” privacy policy scheduled to take into effect. Google announced the new policy last month, billing it as a way to streamline and simplify the privacy practices it employed worldwide across about 60 different online services, and to introduce greater clarity for users.

France’s National Commission for Computing and Civil Liberties (CNIL) has sent an open letter to Google CEO Larry Page outlining the EU’s concerns. The CNIL wrote that the new policy “does not meet the requirements of the European Directive on Data Protection, especially regarding the information provided to data subjects,” with having major concerns over two things mainly, the application of a non-specific privacy policy to dozens of different services and Google’s lack of transparency when it comes to what information is being collected.

Peter Fleischer, Google’s chief privacy counsel, wrote in a letter to the French privacy agency said “We are confident that our new simple, clear and transparent privacy policy respects all European data protection laws and principles.” He said the company had tried unsuccessfully to meet with the agency to discuss the changes. “Like all companies, we have struggled with the conundrum of how to pursue both of the CNIL’s recommendations: How to ‘streamline and simplify’ our privacy policies, while at the same time providing ‘comprehensive information’ to our users,” Mr. Fleischer’s letter states.

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