Google faces EU measures over privacy policy

EUROPEAN regulators threatened action against Google yesterday over recent changes to the web firm’s privacy policy.

French data commissioner CNIL, which has led the EU’s 27 data regulators in pursuing Google, yesterday said the company had failed to adequately respond to demands to change its privacy rules.

Last year, Google merged 60 policies into just one, allowing it to share user information between services such as Gmail and YouTube. The move allows it to target its advertisements more effectively, but regulators raised concerns that it would place users at risk.

In October, they wrote to Google with a list of recommendations, and gave it four months to respond.

The company claims to have responded to the regulators’ concerns, but yesterday CNIL said that “Google did not provide any precise and effective answers”.

“In this context, the EU data protection authorities are committed to act and continue their investigations.

“Therefore, they propose to set up a working group, led by CNIL, in order to coordinate their reaction, which should take place before summer.”

The regulators have not yet claimed that the policy is illegal under EU law.

“Our privacy policy respects European law and allows us to create simpler, more effective services,” Google said. “We have engaged fully with CNIL throughout this process, and we will continue to do so going forward.”