The UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Holland Gang Up On Google
In the UK, the Information Commissioner’s Office told The Register that an investigation into Google had already been launched but was still in its early stages. The goal of the investigation is to decide whether or not Google’s consolidation of privacy policies into just one was in contravention of the UK’s Data Protection Act.
“The action follows an initial investigation by the French data protection authority CNIL, on behalf of the Article 29 group of which the ICO is a member. Several data protection authorities across Europe are now considering whether the policy is compliant with their own national legislation. As this is an ongoing investigation it would not be appropriate to comment further.”
Google Flouts European Law
The issue stems from Google’s decision last year to consolidate the privacy policies of services like Gmail, Google Search, Google+ and YouTube into a single policy, which came into effect March 1, 2012. At the time, the company said that the changes would allow it to improve its products and services, enhancing user’s experience whilst allowing for more targeted ads that are relevant and specific to individual users.
Unfortunately for Google, the Europeans didn’t buy any of this ‘enhanced’ experience BS, and instead turned around and told the company not to make any changes, stressing that to do so may be in breach of European data protection laws. Google simply claimed to be “surprised” by the claims, and went ahead and changed its policy anyway.
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