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EU wants a pause on Google privacy policy

Feb. 3, 2012 at 6:39 PM   |   Comments

BRUSSELS, Feb. 3 (UPI) -- European officials have asked Google to put its recently announced privacy policy changes on hold while they ensure they don't breach data protection laws.

In January Google said it was consolidating its services' privacy policies into one single policy across all of its sites, including Google+, Gmail and YouTube.

The EU regulators, data protection representatives from each of the 27 member states, wrote a letter to Google Chief Executive Larry Page, ZDNet reported Friday.

"Given the wide range of services you offer, and popularity of these services, changes in your privacy policy may affect many citizens in most or all of the EU member states," the letter read.

"We wish to check the possible consequences for the protection of the personal data of these citizens in a coordinated procedure.

"In light of the above, we call for a pause in the interests of ensuring that there can be no misunderstanding about Google's commitments to information rights of their users and EU citizens, until we have completed our analysis," it said.

European Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding applauded the move, saying it was "good that Europe's data protection authorities are ensuring Google's new privacy policy complies with EU law."

Google, for its part, said it was surprised by the action.

"We briefed most of the members of the [regulators'] working party in the weeks leading up to our announcement," said Al Verney, Google's spokesperson in Brussels.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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