French watchdog probing Google further over privacy

May 17, 2012
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Google rolled out a controversial new privacy policy in March that allowed the search giant’s various services to share information between themselves. The policy draw criticism from privacy advocates, and now a French watchdog will be visiting Google in order to further probe the policy. The Commission nationale de l'informatique et des libertés, or CNIL, wasn’t satisfied with Google’s initial explanation and will be asking further questions.

Google provided a response to a 94-page questionnaire that the CNIL sent, but the agency wants to know more. Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin, president of CNIL, said in a statement, “We want to untangle the precise way that specific personal data is being used for individual services, and examine what the benefit for the consumer really is.” Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Google has said that the policy fully abides by European law, and that the meeting “will give us [the] chance to put things into context and explain the broader actions we are taking to protect our users' privacy.”

The new policy allows Google to better tailor information for users by sharing it across all the various Google services. Privacy advocates cried foul, already concerned at the large amount of information that Google holds on users, and the new integration between all the services did little to quell their fears. The CNIL’s meeting will take place next week. As the agency is acting on behalf of the EU, their decision will ultimately apply to 27 European states.

[via BBC]


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