Feeds

EU Parliament plans Google-powered paedo detector

Mixed messages on data retention

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Google looks set to gain a surprising ally in its battle against the European Commission to retain its search logs - the European Parliament.

The dominant search firm has been under pressure from Brussels to erase personally identifiable information from its logs after six months. So far Google has agreed to some anonymisation after nine months.

Last week the Commission's article 29 working group, a body of privacy experts, said Google hadn't gone far enough. "I call on you to improve the protection of the online privacy of users of your search engine services," the group's chairman wrote in a letter to Mountain View.

Meanwhile however, more than 300 MEPs are calling for laws to require Google to retain more data.

They have signed a written declaration urging that the European Data Retention Directive - which mandates that ISPs should retain basic session data for up to two years - is extended to cover web search providers. Their aim is to set up an "early warning system for paedophiles and sex offenders".

Written declarations are the European Parliament's equivalent of the the Commons' Early Day Motion system, whereby MPs sign up to causes in the hope of drawing attention to or action on their cause.

Sponsored by Italian MEP Tiziano Motti and Slovak MEP Anna Záborská, written declaration 29 (pdf) is close to being adopted by the Parliament. It has 324 of of the requisite 369 MEPs' signatures.

It's unclear from the declaration itself how legally-mandated retention of web searches would help create an "early warning system" against paedophiles. Quite possibly though, Motti and Záborská envisage sifting through logs for questionable search terms, linking them to individuals via stored IP addresses, and catching nascent paedophiles before they become a threat to children.

If 369 MEPs do sign the declaration it will have no legal affect, but will be sent to the European Commission for consideration.

It's important to note here that when it comes to EU policy-making, the European Parliament is much more monkey than organ grinder. Given the Commission's ongoing battle with Google to cut search data retention, the MEPs' "early warning system" plan seems speculative at best. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
Govt control? Hah! It's IMPOSSIBLE to have a successful command economy
Even Moore's Law can't help the architects of statism now
Detroit losing MILLIONS because it buys CHEAP BATTERIES – report
Man at hardware store was right: name brands DO last longer
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
EU justice chief blasts Google on 'right to be forgotten'
Don't pretend it's a freedom of speech issue – interim commish
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.