Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) Asked By European Commission to clarify privacy policy

Finally the European regulators have decided to act.

The European Commission has asked the company to provide greater clarity on its new privacy policy and make it easier for users to opt out of it since there are concerns over privacy and how the data gathered by the company may be used.

The Internet search giant had changed its privacy policy last year and made it uniform across all its services and also regulates how it controls the data which is collected.

"The policy allows Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) to combine data collected from one person using its disparate services, from Gmail to YouTube."

However Google doesn’t differentiate between the data collected so it treats data from search results and credit card numbers the same and can be used for any purpose that it deems fit.

France's data protection agency had spear-headed a European investigation into the company's new unified privacy policy and find out what kind of privacy concerns are being violated.

The investigation noted that "the collection of data is not just limited to people with accounts to Google applications. The web giant can collect information from anyone who visits a website that has a link to its services - for example, a Google map posting."

The commission pointed out that of the top 500 most-visited sites in France, 90 percent had a link with Google.

With that kind of power, comes responsibility, the commission said.

Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin, president of the French National Commission on Computing and Freedom, said that Google would have three to four months to respond but that there wasn't a firm deadline.

"We haven't asked Google to go back to its old policy," she told reporters. "We've asked it to complete and clarify it on a certain number of points."

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