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Google Refuses to Delay Imposed Privacy Policy

European Union officials plead with Google to delay launch of new privacy policy

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Google Refuses to Delay Imposed Privacy Policy
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European Union Justice Commissioner Vivian Reding spoke this morning about the new Google privacy policy and its impact on European consumers in regard to existing privacy protections and guidelines:

“The authorities of the data controllers in Europe have asked their French counterparts to analyse the new policies and they have come to the conclusion that they are deeply concerned and that the new rules are not in accordance with the European law and that the transparency rules have not been applied,”

Those French counterparts are the National Commission for Computing and Civil Liberties, a French privacy watchdog, and they are not convinced that the new Google policy is in the best interest of their citizens. According to Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin, President of the CNIL, the new policy violates European Directive on Data Protection.

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In a letter to CEO Larry Page she explains her position:

“The new privacy policy provides only general information about all the services and types of personal data Google processes,”

“As a consequence, it is impossible for average users who read the new policy to distinguish which purposes, collected data, recipients or access rights are currently relevant to their use of a particular Google service.”

“Our preliminary investigation shows that it is extremely difficult to know exactly which data is combined between which services for which purposes, even for trained privacy professionals.”

Meanwhile, Vivian Reding has requested that Google delay the implementation of the new policy at Google. His request has not been honored, but Google’s centiments have been conveyed in a letter responding to Falque-Pierrotin and the CNIL written by Peter Fleischer, Google’s chief privacy counsel:

“We are confident that our new simple, clear and transparent privacy policy respects all European data protection laws and principles.”

“We have notified over 350 million authenticated Google users and provided highly visible notifications on our home page and in search results for our non-authenticated users,”

“To pause now would cause a great deal of confusion for users.”

We will have to wait to see what action the EU or CNIL will take regarding the supposed violations, if any. Meanwhile, the policy has been launched and is currently in full effect.

On the 26th of February, Chairman of the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Jon Leibowitz commented to C-SPAN about Google’s new privacy policy in an interview with Bloomberg writer Brendan Greeley:

“…. consumers should have the right not to have their information collected…your computer is your property…people should have the right not to have their information collected particularly about sensitive issues.”

On the subject of turning off the tracking features on Google products and opting-out Leibowitz had this to say:

“I’m not too sure many people will opt-out. I happen to like getting, you know, ads that relate to the things I’m interested in – so we sense is not too many people will opt-out”

“….[Google] have been clear and that it’s a very binary and somewhat brutal choice that they’re giving consumers…I can’t say much more and I’ll just leave it at that, but we’re aware.”

Google Refuses to Delay Imposed Privacy Policy
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