By Madison Ruppert
Editor of End the Lie
Seeing as Google has such a tight relationship with the United States government and was cleared of wrongdoing by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) related to their spying on Americans, any investigation carried out by an American government entity would likely be laughable.
Of course Google’s response to such challenges is, essentially, that users can simply opt out of using their services entirely if they have a problem with their new policies.
The group also published a dozen or so recommendations for Google’s policy and the Article 29 Working Party, a group of data protection regulators from every member state, said that the 27 EU authorities have already “unanimously adopted the findings of the audit.”
Among other recommendations, “the CNIL suggested Google should strengthen the consent sought for combining data for the purposes of service improvement and advertising; provide a centralized opt-out solution; and adapt the combination rules to distinguish between security and advertising,” according to CNET.
They also pointed out that Google does not make it clear how long they retain user data for. None of this is surprising and honestly I think most of the recommendations will not be implemented because Google’s business is, in fact, data mining.
Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin, CNIL president, stated that Google has “not demonstrated its commitment” to the European Data Protection Directive’s principles. The European Data Protection Directive governs data transfer and storage laws in all 27 states that are members of the European Union.
In anticipation of what will likely be a common objection to the CNIL’s recommendations, she pointed out that it is “not the goal to declare war on Google and stifle innovation,” but they are still dedicated to reminding Google of its “responsibilities.”
Unfortunately, the CNIL stopped far short of demanding what some sources claimed they would.
On October 15, 2012 the British Guardian reported that Google would “be told by EU to unravel data policy” according to their sources, but that obviously did not happen.
The regulars are calling on Google to seek “explicit consent” from users when combining their data across the various Google services, which is the exact opposite of what Google did previously.
Google simply implemented the policy and told users that they either would agree or close their account. It will be quite interesting to see if and how Google complies with the EU regulator’s recommendations.
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