Bloomberg News

Google Changes Don’t Comply With EU Privacy Rules, Reding Says

March 01, 2012

Google Inc. (GOOG)’s changes to its privacy policy don’t comply with European data-protection rules, European Union Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding said.

Google implemented the changes today as scheduled, defying two requests by European data-protection authorities to delay its plans during an investigation, saying it would cause “confusion” for users.

Regulators “are very concerned because they are persuaded that these new rules are not at all compliant with the existing European laws,” Reding said in an interview with Bloomberg TV today in London.

Google refused a second request to postpone the changes by France’s National Commission for Computing and Civil Liberties, or CNIL, two days ago. The Mountain View, California-based company said it gave enough notice to regulators and its customers of its plans and is “confident” the new policy complies with European rules. CNIL, charged by European privacy regulators with looking into the matter, made the request after a preliminary review prompted “strong doubts” about the plans.

The changes combine privacy policies across various Google platforms to create a “beautifully simple, intuitive user experience,” the company’s January announcement said.

While current European rules offer the “highest” degree of personal data protection, Reding said, enforcement isn’t coordinated across the region. That means individual countries’ regulators would have to initiate their own actions against Google.

To contact the reporter on this story: Olivia Sterns in London at osterns1@bloomberg.net Heather Smith in Paris at hsmith26@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net


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