Feeds

French data watchdog bends Google over for rigorous frisking

CNIL demands answers to 69 questions on privacy

Security for virtualized datacentres

This month Google - in the face of widespread criticism in Europe - implemented changes to its privacy policy even though French info watchdog CNIL declared that the tweak would violate the EU's data protection law.

Now CNIL has written to Mountain View demanding answers to 69 questions that it hopes will clarify "the consequences of this new policy for Google’s users".

Pop quiz, punk!

The regulator was tasked by the independent European advisory body on data protection - the Article 29 Working Group - to investigate Google's policy rollout. The Larry Page-run company now has until 5 April to respond to the probing.

"Google’s answers will serve to assess if the combination of data across services complies with the European data protection framework," the Commission nationale de l'informatique et des libertés (CNIL) stated.

The questionnaire seeks various technical answers to stuff that includes information describing how Google collects "opt-in consent" from its users as well as the level of "personalisation" involved with serving ads across its vast online estate. Google has also been asked to "confirm or complete/modify the content of" the above table.

CNIL, in its letter to Page dated 16 March, is also curious as to how Google now shares data across its services.

Google has been undergoing intense scrutiny of its business practices on both sides of the Atlantic for some time now. And the pressure keeps on building: late last week the Wall Street Journal reported that the US Federal Trade Commission had widened its investigation of the firm to include its bypass of privacy settings on Apple's Safari browser.

The company was placed on the naughty step by the FTC in 2011 following its Buzz blunder, and agreed in a "consent decree" to undergo biennial privacy audits for the next 20 years. That concession followed a complaint brought by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) against the Chocolate Factory's failed attempt in early 2010 to stealthily slot its privacy-lite Buzz social network onto Gmail accounts without first seeking the consent of Google's users.

EPIC's executive director Marc Rotenberg told The Register late last week that he remained "hopeful that the Commission will still act on the March 1 changes in the privacy policy which we believe contravene the 2011 consent order". ®

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
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?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.