Feature: Blogging Google

Google's Privacy Policy Changes Violate European Law

Author: Craig Blaha
Published: March 01, 2012 at 5:29 am

Google privacy policy changes violate EU privacy lawThe Commission nationale de l’informatique et des libertés (CNIL), an official, state funded French privacy watchdog, has asked Google to delay the implementation of their new privacy policy, claiming they are "deeply concerned" about the new policy:

Preliminary findings show that Google’s new policy fails to meet the requirements of the European Data Protection Directive (95/46/CE) regarding the information that must be provided to data subjects. Moreover, the CNIL and the EU data protection authorities are deeply concerned about the combination of data across services and will continue their investigations with Google’s representatives. The CNIL reiterated its request to Google to postpone the application of the new policy, on behalf of the Article 29 Working Party.

 As The Register reports, Google has recently been claiming that it only offers one service; ad supported search results, in response to calls to make the privacy policy more clear about individual services.

Google announced that the proposed privacy changes, which are due to take effect tomorrow and will have a variety of effects on privacy, depending on the service you are using, were vetted by European privacy authorities extensively before they were released. CNIL claims that this was not the case, with most privacy experts seeing the proposed policy only hours before it was released. 

Google says it won't delay the change because it will only serve to confuse users, even though 37 attorneys general and  the CNIL are challenging the legality of the policy change. With the amount of attention this policy change is receiving, we can count on a series of legal challenges if it does move forward tomorrow.

 image: epic.org


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Article Author: Craig Blaha

Craig is a privacy, secrecy, and social media researcher pursuing his PhD in Information Studies at UT Austin. Craig teaches undergraduate classes on Social Media and Privacy and the Internet and Public Policy. …

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