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. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Bono apologises for iTunes album dump
Megalomania, generosity and FEAR of irrelevance drove group to Apple deal
HBO shocks US pay TV world: We're down with OTT. Netflix says, 'Gee'
This affects every broadcaster, every cable guy
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.