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Google declines EU call to freeze new privacy policy

updated 09:15 am EST, Fri February 3, 2012

EU denied request to stop Google policies

The EU's Article 29 Working Party, which represents data protection rules, has sent a letter (PDF) unsuccessfully trying to persuade Google to temporarily stop implementing its unified privacy policy. Under concerns that the changes may affect much of Europe, the coalition of national and continental regulators wanted a "pause" so that there wasn't any confusion over privacy rights, according to chairman Jacob Kohnstamm. The Article 29 group also said Google would need to talk to France's data regulator CNIL as its main contact for questions.

Google representative Andrew House responded to the request by saying there were no plans to halt the new policy. The American search giant had already brought up the changes to the EU in advance, House told Bloomberg. He accused the EU of being reactionary and waiting until there was public attention to make a request.

The new approach, which takes effect March 1, whittles 60 separate privacy policies down to one, more plainly written document. Google has insisted that users maintain full control and that the changes are just to make the company's policy easier to understand. Objectors have still worried that the new rules may see Google share too much information between services and make opting out an all-or-nothing proposition.

Most consider the EU Google's primary challenge for any changes to policies. The international union has recently cemented new data protection rules that, among other things, includes a "right to be forgotten" clause that would let users delete at least some information. Visitors could theoretically have problems deleting just some of their record versus all of it.



By Electronista Staff
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