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Data protection authorities demand Google answer concerns with privacy policy changes

20 Mar 2012
Google logo (Robert Scoble Flickr)

Google has been asked to respond to numerous issues relating to the changes to its privacy policies by French data protection regulators, as concerns over the amendments refuse to die down.

The National Commission for Computing and Civil Liberties (CNIL), which is leading the European Commission's Article 29 Working Party investigation into the changes, has issued Google with a questionnaire detailing 69 key points they wanted answered.

The CNIL has given Google a deadline of 5 April to respond.

These questions relate to issues such as how, if at all, Google intended to respond to users' concerns with the changes, and if users will definitely be able to delete their Google profiles and all the data associated with them.

A Google spokesperson confirmed the firm had received the questionnaire and said it stood by previous claims the changes it introduced conform to all necessary laws.

"We have received the letter from the CNIL and we will respond in due course. We are confident that our new simple, clear and transparent privacy policy respects all European data protection laws and principles," the spokesperson said.

"It provides all the information required in Articles 10 and 11 of the directive, plus much additional information, and it follows the guidelines published by the Article 29 Working Party in 2004."

The CNIL had warned Google it thought the changes it was making to its privacy policies may have been illegal under European Union (EU) law. It urged Google to postpone the changes, but the firm ignored this. 

The changes have raised the ire of many privacy campaigners, with one even taking the firm to the small claims court for £400 to cover the cost of moving from the Android platform to another service, claiming the changes breached the original contract he had with Google.

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Dan Worth
About

Dan Worth is the news editor for V3 having first joined the site as a reporter in November 2009. He specialises in a raft of areas including fixed and mobile telecoms, data protection, social media and government IT. Before joining V3 Dan covered communications technology, data handling and resilience in the emergency services sector on the BAPCO Journal

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