Feeds

French data watchdog bends Google over for rigorous frisking

CNIL demands answers to 69 questions on privacy

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

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". ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
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.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.