Google ordered to look again at privacy policy by EU regulators

 

Internet search firm Google has been ordered to look again at its controversial privacy policy by European Union regulators after a report criticised its collection of internet users’ personal information.

In the report, released today, an EU data protection commissioner accused Google of not respecting data protection.

“It is not possible to ascertain from the analysis that Google respects the key data protection principles of purpose limitation, data quality, data minimization, proportionality and right to object,” read a statement from the EU regulator.

The regulator added: “Indeed, the Privacy policy suggests the absence of any limit concerning the scope of the collection and the potential uses of the personal data. The EU Data protection authorities challenge Google to commit publicly to these principles.”

It said that Google “provides insufficient information to its users on its personal data processing operations”, adding that Google users cannot tell how their personal data are used.

“The Privacy Policy makes no difference in terms of processing between the innocuous content of search query and the credit card number…of the user,” it said, adding: “passive users (i.e. those that interact with some of Google's services like advertising or ‘+1' buttons on third-party websites) have no information at all.”

The French regulator Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés (CNIL), which was appointed to lead the investigation on behalf of the EU, demanded that Google modify its practices.

It asked Google to give “clearer and more comprehensive information about the collected data and purposes of each of its personal data processing operations” and demanded the firm should allow users to choose when their data are combined between Google products.

It also said that users should be given the right to opt-out and that Google should modify its own systems so that data entered by users in one of the firm’s products cannot be passed to another without consent.

Google faced investigation after it combined all of the privacy policies related to individual products - numbering 60 – into a single, uniform policy, allowing it to transfer users’ data between different areas of and products belonging to the company. It was criticised when it emerged that people had no option but to accept the new terms.

No mention was made of any of the potential sanctions open to the CNIL, which include financial penalties, should Google fail to comply. The CNIL investigated Google on behalf of the Article 29 Data Protection Working Party, which represents European authorities.

Peter Fleischer, Google’s global privacy counsel today said: “We have received the report and are reviewing it now. Our new privacy policy demonstrates our long-standing commitment to protecting our users’ information and creating great products. We are confident that our privacy notices respect European law.”

Google was informed of the demands in a letter sent to its CEO Larry Page yesterday, Reuters reported.

Earlier this month, a spokesman told Bloomberg News its policy provided users with “clear and comprehensive information about how we use data…we are confident that our privacy notices respect the requirements of European data protection laws”.

The company has clashed with CNIL in the past over the collection of data by its Street View camera cars. Despite its protestations last year that the data scoop was done in error and voluntarily highlighted, it was handed the CNIL’s maximum fine of €100,000 (£80,700).

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Life and Style
Taste the difference: Nell Frizzell tucks into a fry-up in Jesse's cafe in east London
food + drinkHow a bike accident left one woman living in a distorted world in which spices smell of old socks and muesli tastes like pork fat
Sport
Luke Shaw’s performance in the derby will be key to how his Manchester United side get on
footballIt's not a game to lose, writes Paul Scholes
Arts and Entertainment
Don’t send in the clowns: masks and make-up conceal true facial expressions, thwarting our instinct to read people’s minds through their faces, as seen in ‘It’
filmThis Halloween, we ask what makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?
News
peopleFarage challenges 'liberally biased' comedians to 'call him a narcissist'
Arts and Entertainment
Liam and Zayn of One Direction play with a chimpanzee on the set of their new video for 'Steal My Girl'
music
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Sales Consultant – Permanent – West Sussex – £24-£25k plus commission and other benefits

    £24000 - £25000 Per Annum plus company car and commission: Clearwater People S...

    Marketing Account Manager / Client Liaison Manager

    £25 - 32k DOE: Guru Careers: A digital-savvy Marketing Account Manager / Clien...

    Business Development Manager / Sales Executive

    £23-30k (DOE) + Bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking bright Business Developmen...

    Inside Sales Manager – SaaS based solutions

    25-30k + Comms + Benefits: Sphere Digital Recruitment: A rapidly expanding tag...

    Day In a Page

    The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

    The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

    Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
    The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

    Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

    Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
    Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

    Fall of the Berlin Wall

    It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
    Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

    What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

    Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
    A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

    Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

    Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
    Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

    'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

    A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

    Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

    The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
    Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

    Paul Scholes column

    Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
    Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

    Frank Warren column

    Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
    Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

    Adrian Heath's American dream...

    Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
    Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

    Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

    Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
    Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

    A Syrian general speaks

    A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
    ‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

    ‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

    Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
    Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

    Fall of the Berlin Wall

    History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
    How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

    Turn your mobile phone into easy money

    There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes