Google may breach EU Data protection law

In a letter to Google CEO Larry Page today, French data protection regulator CNIL has warned  Google’s new privacy policy appears to violate the European Union’s data protection rules.

As our research published today shows, nine in ten people haven’t read the policy, with 47% of people who use a Google service regularly not knowing any change was being proposed.

The way Google collects and uses personal information has been a concern for privacy groups around the world, and the new policy will allow Google to combine everything it knows about you to better target advertisements – which is after all how it makes its money.

We have called for the company to not implement the new policy until its impact is fully understood and consumers can be confident there is adequate privacy protection in place.

Now CNIL have renewed their request to pause implementation of the policy pending a full review, saying Europe’s data protection authorities “are deeply concerned about the combination of personal data cross services.” As we have also highlighted, the new privacy policy’s vague wording was cited as being difficult to understand “even for trained privacy professionals”.

According to the letter the European regulators “have strong doubts about the lawfulness and fairness of such processing, and about its compliance with” regional rules, and CNIL said its “preliminary analysis shows that Google’s new policy does not meet the requirements of the European Directive on Data Protection”.

The impact of Google’s new policy cannot be understated, but the public are in the dark about what the changes actually mean.

Companies should not be allowed to bury in legal jargon and vague statements how they handle our personal information, and it is very positive that the Article 29 Working Group are seeking to ensure consumers understand what the detail of Google’s new privacy policy means.

If people don’t understand what is happening to their personal information, how can they make an informed choice about using a service?



Here is a step by step guide on how to delete your Google browsing history before the new privacy policy begins tomorrow.