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EU asks Google to "pause" new privacy rules

10 Feb 2012 10:54 GMT Back
EU asks Google to "pause" new privacy rules
DMA News

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The Article 29 Working Party, the EU’s data protection committee, has asked Google  to ‘pause’ the implementation of its new privacy policy “in the interests of ensuring that there can be no misunderstanding about Google's commitments to information rights of their users and EU citizens." 

Google announced its new privacy policy less than a fortnight ago and is currently on a publicity drive, offering browsers the opportunity to find out about the changes via adverts on its homepage and when users log in.

Targeted for implementation on 1 March this year, it sees the privacy policies of Google’s 70 assets including Youtube, GMail, Picasa and Android Mobile, rolled into one. The move will see Google create one uber database, with any data given by users to one site, shared across them all. 

The Working Party has one month to investigate its concerns. A Google spokesperson said that ‘delaying the new policy would cause significant confusion.’

Rosemary Smith, director of data protection and permission marketing consultancy, Opt-4 says that while consumers focus on what’s done with their data, marketers should focus their  on just how far reaching the impact The Article 29 Working Party’s request is on them doing their day jobs.

 “Should The Article 29 Working Party have the right to interfere with the timing of the new Google policy? Surely this is Google gaining a competitive march by promoting better privacy?”

The Working Party request comes hot on the heels of  new legislative proposals for data protection published by the European Commission on 25 January 2012.

“The proposed new regulation is much more prescriptive of how Data Controllers communicate their policies - there is a good chance that we will end up with cigarette packet style warnings dictated by the Commission” Smith says.

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