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article imageEU pressures Google over new privacy policy

By Anne Sewell     Mar 22, 2012 in Internet
Brussel - The European Union’s data protection authorities had asked Google to delay the rollout of its new privacy policy until they had verified that it doesn't break Europe's data protection laws. Google went ahead anyway.
Google is being probed by the French national information commission (CNIL) - this was requested on behalf of the 27 EU member states. The regulator has "strong doubts" that Google is legitimate in its streamlining of user data flow among its various services, including YouTube, Google+ and Gmail.
RT reports that Google has until 6 April 2012 to provide explanations on 69 questions that have been posed by the commission. Google has pledged to comply with this request.
The questions raised are on the mechanisms and legal grounds of the implementation of the new privacy policy. Google must explain how it plans to use the collected user data and also whether this data will be linked to the person's actual identity.
Google's new privacy policy was first announced in January of this year, and was implemented in early March. Many privacy officials and advocates in the U.S., Europe and Japan have stated their doubts over this move. They are particularly concerned that users of smartphones who use Google's Android operating system are subject to the new privacy policy and have no way of opting out of it. This potentially gives Google private data including address books, use of mapping services (i.e. where the user is travelling to) and also search queries.
Google introduced the new policy as their business model relies on advertising which is widely placed throughout the internet. By collecting online data of a particular user, this gives them the opportunity to target this user with appropriate advertising.
More about Google, Europe, Eu, privacy policy, google privacy policy