European officials question Google's privacy policy

A European Commission advisory group, composed of representatives from all of the European Union countries, sent Google a letter expressing concern over Google's new privacy policy announced in March. The issue surrounds Google's policy of anonymizing its server logs after 18 to 24 months. According to a Commission source, the advisory group is concerned with how the information is managed, rather than the length of time it is stored. Google said it will respond, as requested, before the group holds its next meeting in mid-June. The committee is expected to review Google's response and may issue a formal recommendation before the summer holidays.

"We believe it's an important part of our commitment to respect user privacy while balancing a number of important factors, such as maintaining security and preventing fraud and abuse. We are committed to engaging in a constructive dialogue with privacy stakeholders, including the (European Commission privacy advisory group), on how to improve privacy practices for the benefit of Google users and for everyone on the Internet," said Peter Fleischer, Google's global privacy attorney.

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