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EU to tell Google to unravel privacy policy

updated 07:03 pm EDT, Mon October 15, 2012

French data regulators say Google policy needs to change

The European Union will soon request that Google change its privacy policy to improve its protection of users' rights. This according to Reuters, which cites a letter from the EU's national data protection regulators to Google. The letter calls for Google to cease consolidating user information across its services, which include YouTube, Gmail, and Google+, and the regulators have provided "practical recommendations" for the search company to better protect its users' privacy rights.

In March, Google introduced a new unified privacy policy, which raised concern among EU regulators. The new policy effectively merged privacy policies across the company's more than 60 products into one overarching policy. It also pooled user data into single accounts for each user. Users are unable to opt out of the new policy.

EU regulators are concerned that the combination of personal data on such a scale poses a risk to user privacy. They recommend that Google begin informing users how their personal information and browsing records will be used, with an emphasis on location data and credit card data. They also call for Google to spell out both its data collection methods and its intentions in detail, as well as to ask users for explicit permission to bundle their data together.

Google has not yet commented on the regulators' letter. The search company has likely been aware of regulators' concerns with the policy for some time, as European officials expressed those concerns back in March. The search company maintains, though, that its policies are not in violation of EU law and that they help Google to better target users with relevant search results and advertisements.




by MacNN Staff

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