Google Privacy Changes: Google Won’t Pause Rollout For EU / CNIL

    February 4, 2012
    Chris Crum

This week, the European Union and France’s National Commission for Computing and Civil Liberties (CNIL) asked Google to pause the rollout of its new privacy policy changes.

The reason? To provide time for the EU’s Article 29 Working Party, which regulates data protection issues, to investigate possible user privacy and data protection concerns.

A Google spokesperson told WebProNews:

We briefed most of the members of the working party in the weeks leading up to our announcement. None of them expressed substantial concerns at the time, but of course we’re happy to speak with any DPA that has questions. As part of announcing our new privacy policy, we’ve made the largest communication to users in our history. Delaying the new policy would cause significant confusion.

Google has sent a letter back to CNIL, indicating that it has no intentions of pausing its rollout. The letter, for the most part, reads almost exactly like the company’s recent letter to congress. At the end, Google says:

Your letter has requested a pause while the Article 29 Working Party checks the possible consequences of the changes for our users. You letter states that this in in the interests of ensuring that there can be no misunderstanding about Google’s commitment to information rights of their users and EU citizens.

As you will know, we had extensively pre-briefed data protection authorities across the EU prior to the launch of our notification to users on 24 January 2012. At no stage did any EU regulator suggest that any sort of pause would be appropriate. Since we finished these extensive briefings, We have notified over 350 million Google account holders, as well as providing highly visible notices to all our non-authenticated users. In addition, the policy does not come into effect until 1 March 2012, as we wanted to leave more than adequate time for our users to be able to read and understand the policy before it’s fully implemented.

Google’s changes are scheduled to take effect on March 1.