EU Requests That Google Improve Privacy.

The US internet giant Google was taken to task on Tuesday by EU privacy officials over privacy changes that it implemented earlier this year and was asked to take further action to improve its privacy protections.

The European Union data protection authorities argued, in a letter to Google’s CEO Larry Page, that privacy changes made on the 1st of March this year are not in line with the EU privacy principles for data collection stating that people should be given the right to opt out of such data collection, that Google should limit the collection of such data, and limit the use and ensure the quality of any data collected.

EU officials wrote…

“The privacy policy suggests the absence of any limit concerning the scope of the collection and the potential uses of the personal data, we challenge you to commit publicly to these principles.”

“We recognize Google`s key role in the online world, our recommendations do not seek to limit the company’s ability to innovate and improve its products, but rather to strengthen users` trust and control, and to ensure compliance with the data protection (legislation) and principles.”

Earlier this year the French data protection authority launched an investigation on behalf of the EU privacy officials after Google first announced in January that it would consolidate more than 60 privacy policies and begin tracking consumers as they move from one Google service to another. Although the initial statement from the French officials stated that Google “may” have violated EU privacy laws they did not confirm this in their letter on Tuesday. Instead, the officials have urged Google to take a number of extra steps to improve its privacy practices including informing users of exactly how they process personal data within each of their services.

As we have said, the EU officials have not specifically said whether Google has broken any EU laws but have instead urged the company to indicate exactly how and when they will comply with the recommendations. It has not been made clear whether Google could face any penalties for failing to comply with these recommendations and, as yet, no deadline has been set.

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