EU says Google should 'halt' its upcoming privacy changes that share user details across search, Gmail and YouTube

 February 3,2012

European regulators have written to Google CEO Larry Page calling on the search giant to halt the introduction of its new 'one-size-fits-all' privacy policy

The policy was due to come into effect on March 1, and would allow Google to share what it knows about users between services such as Google Search, Gmail and YouTube.

The move horrified privacy advocates and bloggers - tech site ZDNet said that Google would 'know more about you than your wife does' and said the policy was 'Big Brother-ish'. 

The European Union working party asked for Google to stop the new policy while the working group investigate whether personal data is protected.

‘We call for a pause to ensure that there can be no misunderstanding about Google’s commitments to information rights of EU citizens.’ 

The working group wrote to Google CEO Larry Page to say that the search giant should 'halt' its new privacy policy until privacy groups had had a chance to examine it more thoroughly.

‘Given the wide range of services you offer, and the popularity of these services, changes in your privacy policy may affect many citizens in most  EU member states,’ the group wrote to Google Chief Executive Larry Page. 

‘We wish to check the possible consequences for the protection of the personal data of citizens,’ it said.

France’s data protection authority will be in charge of the investigation.    

The Article 29 Working Party said it needed to examine Google’s plans more thoroughly before the search group’s policy comes into effect on March 1.    

Google described the privacy policy as being 'simplified' in an email it sent to all Gmail users. 

'If you're signed into Google, we can do things like suggest search queries - or tailor your search results - based on the interests you've expressed in Google Plus, Gmail and YouTube,’ Google said a new overview page for its privacy policies.

‘We'll better understand (what) you're searching for and get you those results faster.’

Google sees the changes as making its products easier to use by sharing a privacy policy - and information - across everything from Gmail accounts to YouTube while users are signed in

The European commissioner in charge of data protection, Viviane Reding, welcomed the move, saying it was a necessary to establish that EU data rules were being firmly applied.   

‘The Commission therefore calls on Europe’s data protection authorities to ensure that EU law is fully complied with in Google’s new privacy policy,’ she said in a statement.    

Google said the raising of concerns came as a surprise.   

 ‘We briefed most of the members of the working party in the weeks leading up to our announcement,’ said Al Verney, Google’s spokesman in Brussels.    

‘None of them expressed substantial concerns at the time, but of course we’re happy to speak with any data protection authority that has questions.’

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2095962/EU-says-Google-halt-upcoming-privacy-changes.html

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Comment by Pam Vredenburg on February 26, 2012 at 12:55pm

If you find something else let us know Kerry~

Comment by Kerry Hay on February 26, 2012 at 12:56am

It appears that Google is placing tracking cookies on every page you visit, if they continue doing this I will find a safer more secure search engine to use. STOP SPYING ON PEOPLE GOOGLE!!!

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