Google Wrestles With EU Privacy Discussion

    November 5, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

Privacy considerations for Internet users suffer from a lack of a global standard, leaving it to companies to try and figure out what they should be doing.

Google Wrestles With EU Privacy Discussion
Google Wrestles With EU Privacy Discussion

Google wants to handle the privacy question as well as it can, the company noted in the wake of a recent discussion held in Brussels. The answers to that question have been a challenge to find.

A number of countries, which Google counts as three out of every four, do not have established privacy rules. Peter Fleischer, Google’s global privacy counsel, said on the company’s Public Policy blog, “Google will identify and abide by the highest common denominator of privacy protection, even though in practice it’s not always easy to know what that standard is.”

There are points of difference between what Google sees as effective for privacy versus the European Union’s perception. Alexander Alvaro, who sits on the Civil Liberties Committee of the European Parliament, would prefer Google delete query data after 18 months. Google wants to keep that data, but anonymize it after that period.

The debate on privacy will continue, given the myriad existing standards, proposals, and needs of an entire globe of countries. Google does have it right in noting that without consumer trust in the Internet, it will be hard for their business to thrive.