KyivPost

EU probes new Google privacy policy

Print version
Feb. 3, 2012, 4:17 p.m. | World — by Associated Press

The European Union's data protection authorities have asked Google to delay the rollout of its new privacy policy until they have verified that it doesn't break the bloc's data protection laws.

BRUSSELS — The European Union's data protection authorities have asked Google to delay the rollout of its new privacy policy until they have verified that it doesn't break the bloc's data protection laws. Google publicized its new privacy rules — which regulate how the Web giant uses the enormous amounts of personal data its collects through its search engine, email and other services — with much fanfare last week.

Since then, it has launched a huge publicity campaign informing its users around the globe of the new policy, which is set to come into force on March 1.

But that launch date may now be under threat.

In a letter to Google Chief Executive Larry Page, Jacob Kohnstamm, the chairman of the group of 27 national privacy regulators in the EU, said the French data protection agency has launched an investigation into the new rules and how they will affect Google users in the EU.

"We call for a pause (in the rollout of the new rules) in the interests of ensuring that there can be no misunderstanding about Google's commitments to information rights of their users and EU citizens, until we have completed our analysis," Kohnstamm wrote in the letter, which was sent Thursday and published on Friday.

Google's search engine has a market share of more than 90 percent in the EU, with rival services like Microsoft's Bing gaining little traction. The EU's competition authorities are already examining whether Google uses this dominance to stop other search engines from entering the market.

A spokeswoman for Kohnstamm, who is also the head of the Dutch data protection agency, did not immediately answer questions on how long the investigation is expected to take or whether there were specific concerns over the new rules that triggered the probe.

Google spokespeople in Brussels did not immediately respond to requests for comment. However, in its descriptions of the new privacy policy, Google says its main aim is to simplify the more than 60 different set of privacy rules for its different services into one that is easier to understand for users.
The Kyiv Post is hosting comments to foster lively public debate through the Disqus system. Criticism is fine, but stick to the issues. Comments that include profanity or personal attacks will be removed from the site. The Kyiv Post will ban flagrant violators. If you think that a comment or commentator should be banned, please flag the offending material.
comments powered by Disqus

KyivPost

© 1995–2014 Public Media

Web links to Kyiv Post material are allowed provided that they contain a URL hyperlink to the www.kyivpost.com material and a maximum 500-character extract of the story. Otherwise, all materials contained on this site are protected by copyright law and may not be reproduced without the prior written permission of Public Media at news@kyivpost.com
All information of the Interfax-Ukraine news agency placed on this web site is designed for internal use only. Its reproduction or distribution in any form is prohibited without a written permission of Interfax-Ukraine.