EU says Google should 'halt' its upcoming privacy changes that share user details across search, Gmail and YouTube

European regulators have written to Google CEO Larry Page calling on the search giant to halt the introduction of its new 'one-size-fits-all' privacy policy
The policy was due to come into effect on March 1, and would allow Google to share what it knows about users between services such as Google Search, Gmail and YouTube.
The move horrified privacy advocates and bloggers - tech site ZDNet said that Google would 'know more about you than your wife does' and said the policy was 'Big Brother-ish'.
The European Union working party asked for Google to stop the new policy while the working group investigate whether personal data is protected.
‘We call for a pause to ensure that there can be no misunderstanding about Google’s commitments to information rights of EU citizens.’  
‘Given the wide range of services you offer, and the popularity of these services, changes in your privacy policy may affect many citizens in most  EU member states,’ the group wrote to Google Chief Executive Larry Page.
‘We wish to check the possible consequences for the protection of the personal data of citizens,’ it said.
France’s data protection authority will be in charge of the investigation.   
The Article 29 Working Party said it needed to examine Google’s plans more thoroughly before the search group’s policy comes into effect on March 1.   
Google described the privacy policy as being 'simplified' in an email it sent to all Gmail users.
'If you're signed into Google, we can do things like suggest search queries - or tailor your search results - based on the interests you've expressed in Google Plus, Gmail and YouTube,’ Google said a new overview page for its privacy policies.
‘We'll better understand (what) you're searching for and get you those results faster.’
The European commissioner in charge of data protection, Viviane Reding, welcomed the move, saying it was a necessary to establish that EU data rules were being firmly applied.   
‘The Commission therefore calls on Europe’s data protection authorities to ensure that EU law is fully complied with in Google’s new privacy policy,’ she said in a statement.   
Google said the raising of concerns came as a surprise.  
 ‘We briefed most of the members of the working party in the weeks leading up to our announcement,’ said Al Verney, Google’s spokesman in Brussels.   
‘None of them expressed substantial concerns at the time, but of course we’re happy to speak with any data protection authority that has questions.’

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23 April 2024

22 04 2024