EU Authorities Allege Google Violations

Enforcement Actions Are Pending on Privacy Issues
EU Authorities Allege Google Violations

Data protection agencies in the European Union are preparing to coordinate enforcement actions and further investigations against Google for its recent overhaul of its privacy policy, which they contend violates European data protection law.

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CNIL, France's data protection agency, issued a statement on April 2 indicating that six European data protection authorities are set to launch coordinated and simultaneous enforcement actions against Google.

In response, Google said in a statement provided to DataBreachToday: "Our privacy policy respects European law and allows us to create simpler, more effective services. We have engaged fully with the DPAs [data protection authorities] involved throughout this process, and we'll continue to do so going forward."

Policy Investigation

From March to October 2012, authorities investigated Google's privacy policy with the aim of checking whether it met requirements of the European Data Protection Directive. In a report published Oct. 26, 2012, EU data protection authorities presented recommendations to Google and demanded it comply within four months.

"After this period expired, Google has not implemented any significant compliance measures," the statement from CNIL said.

The CNIL, in an Oct. 16, 2012, news release, said that, upon investigating Google's new privacy policy, it was unclear how Google was collecting data on individual users and that the company didn't provider users with controls over how their data was being combined across various services the company offered.

The investigations and enforcement actions stem from Google's overhaul of its privacy policy, which merged its search, Gmail and YouTube data to create more detailed profiles of its users, according to The Telegraph.

The UK Information Commissioner's Office also said it would launch a formal investigation. "The ICO has launched an investigation into whether Google's revised March 2012 privacy policy is compliant with the Data Protection Act," a spokesperson told The Telegraph.

About the Author

Jeffrey Roman

Jeffrey Roman

News Writer, ISMG

Roman is the former News Writer for Information Security Media Group. Having worked for multiple publications at The College of New Jersey, including the College's newspaper "The Signal" and alumni magazine, Roman has experience in journalism, copy editing and communications.

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