French data authority expresses deep concerns over the protection of user data and asks Google to suspend implementation
Commission Nationale de L’informatique et Des Libertes (CNIL) has expressed “deep concerns” about the policy and its adherence to the European Data Protection Directive.
CNIL was asked to investigate the policy by the Article 29 Working Party, an advisory body which includes representatives from all EU data protection authorities, earlier this month. The body asked Google to suspend plans to implement the policy so that it could investigate whether it offered sufficient protection for personal data.
“Moreover, the CNIL and the EU data protection authorities are deeply concerned about the combination of data across services and will continue their investigations with Google’s representatives,” it continued. “The CNIL reiterated its request to Google to postpone the application of the new policy, on behalf of the Article 29 Working Party.”
Google announced plans to unify and consolidate around 70 different privacy policies in January and is due to be implemented tomorrow (1 March). The changes will see users of Google’s various services such as Search, Gmail and YouTube treated as one individual, raising concerns over how the company will track Web users’ activity now that their accounts are linked.
The search giant has been keen to stress the benefits of the new policy, such as more personalised search results, but this has not been enough to appease organisations such as the US Senate, which has requested more information about the plans.
Unsurprisingly, Google’s competitors have attempted to capitalise on the controversy, with Microsoft presenting its portfolio of Web products, including Hotmail, Bing and Office 365, as viable alternatives to those concerned about the protection of their data.
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