Google, Facebook & others argue French privacy rules

Poor Google; first the French tell them off for keeping data, and then they tell them off for not keeping data. The search giant is among over 20 sites – including Facebook, eBay and Dailymotion – complaining in France over what information on users they should be holding on to, including full names, addresses and passwords.

According to the French State Council, ecommerce sites, along with video, music and email providers, must now maintain a record of their users' full names, postal and email addresses, any pseudonyms used, telephone numbers and passwords, along with any data the sites have gathered in the process of checking those facts. The records must be kept for at least twelve months, and must be handed over should the police, fraud office, customs, tax or social security authorities demand it as part of an enquiry.

The French Association of Internet Community Services (ASIC) will appeal the decree on Wednesday. Among their complaints is that "no consultation with the European Commission was made" according to an ASIC spokesperson. "This is a shocking measure," he continued, "this obligation to keep passwords and hand them over to police services."