EU: Google's new privacy policy breaks European laws

On Thursday, Google's newly revamped privacy polices went into effect officially across Google's online services. However, it looks like Google's changes will have to face a very unhappy European Union. Reuters reports that the EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding announced that Google's new policies are in fact violating European law.

Reding said there were a number of issues with Google's privacy statements. She said:

One is that nobody had been consulted, it is not in accordance with the law on transparency and it utilizes the data of private persons in order to hand it over to third parties, which is not what the users have agreed to.

In addition, French regulator the CNIL has already given notice to Google that it plans to lead a investigation into its new policies.

The changes were first announced by Google in late January. Google has repeatedly claimed that the changes are just a way to consolidate privacy policies so that all of its services, including Gmail, YouTube, and Google+, are now covered by one set of rules.

In a post on Google's official blog post on Thursday, the company said:

The new policy doesn’t change any existing privacy settings or how any personal information is shared outside of Google. We aren’t collecting any new or additional information about users. We won’t be selling your personal data. And we will continue to employ industry-leading security to keep your information safe.

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8 Comments

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Funny how a lot of people just do not understand what Google is doing and how not a big deal it is. Will be interesting to see what comes of this and if EU will penalize Google. I know that the US Gov is looking in to this but dont think they have come to any kind of conclusion yet.

techbeck said,
Funny how a lot of people just do not understand what Google is doing and how not a big deal it is. Will be interesting to see what comes of this and if EU will penalize Google. I know that the US Gov is looking in to this but dont think they have come to any kind of conclusion yet.

Indeed. Everything that I've read about this privacy policy doesn't seem extraordinarily evil. It just merges their data sets so that various Google services can use the data collected by other Google services.

With Google being so big, I can see how it could be a bit creepy, but at the end of the day, as Google have said, they already hold all this data, they're just going to merge it with other services' data to give them better tools and user analytics.

Seems to me that all the fuss about the investigation of the new Google policies has more to do with the change itself than with what's changed.

If the new policies where such an issue they would be investigating Microsoft as well, since they have exactly the same kind of privacy policies.

Ehh it doesn't matter Either EU will just Block Google or they will waste ton of money trying to sue Google on something they already been doing since they started.

Totalaero said,
Ehh it doesn't matter Either EU will just Block Google or they will waste ton of money trying to sue Google on something they already been doing since they started.

Google isn't just going to bow out of one of their biggest markets, they'd change their privacy policy just for EU before doing that (See MS and windows special editions + hundreds of millions in fines for MS and Intel).

If they were going to be breaking these laws, why didn't the EU warn Google of this BEFORE this went live. The whole world was warned...