Google facing privacy challenges

Wednesday, April 3, 2013 - 7:44pm

Google may have a rough road ahead in Europe, where six countries opened Tuesday independent investigations of the privacy policy changes it made last year.

On Tuesday, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Britain all began processes to decide if Google's revised privacy policy violates their national laws. The announcement of the fresh investigations immediately followed a French data privacy watchdog's assertion that Google failed to implement "any significant compliance measures" after it advised Google in an October report to make changes in accordance with European law.

"It is now up to each national data protection authority to carry out further investigations according to the provisions of its national law transposing European legislation," said France's Commission nationale de l'informatique et des libertés, or CNIL, in a statement issued Tuesday.

Google maintains that it has not violated European data law. “Our privacy policy respects European law and allows us to create simpler, more effective services," a Google spokesperson told Mashable. "We have engaged fully with the [data protection authorities] involved throughout this process, and we’ll continue to do so going forward."

Regulators in each of the six countries now investigating Google separately will have to make their individual cases against the company through their respective domestic legal systems, though they can use the French watchdog's report as a springboard for their work.

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