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EU watchdogs slam Google on privacy

Oct. 16, 2012 at 4:06 PM   |   Comments

BRUSSELS, Oct. 16 (UPI) -- Google Inc.'s privacy practices don't comply with Europe-wide data-protection rules, regulators in 27 European Union countries say.

EU privacy watchdog agencies released a report Tuesday urging the Internet giant to give users more control over personal data Google collects from its search engine and other services, The Wall Street Journal reported.

"We're asking them to change their policies and practices," said Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin, head of France's privacy regulator CNIL, which headed an investigation into Google's overhaul of its privacy policy conducted in March.

Google should offer better information on what it does with users' personal data, the regulators said, inform users of how long it keeps their data, and offer easier ways for users to opt out of having information harvested by Google services.

Google will be given several months to implement the changes before individual data-protection regulators start to pursue their own enforcement actions, Falque-Pierrotin said.

If Google fails to implement changes within three or four months, "then we'll enter another phase, which will be more contentious," she said.

Google has strongly defended its privacy policy.

"Our new privacy policy demonstrates our long-standing commitment to protecting our users' information and creating great products. We are confident that our privacy notices respect European law," Peter Fleischer, global privacy counsel at Google, said in a statement.

© 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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