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Google, French watchdog to hook up over privacy

Last encounter left CNIL unsatisfied

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Google will meet CNIL next week to chat about the French regulator's ongoing concerns over the web giant's revamped privacy policy.

The Commission Nationale de l'Informatique (CNIL) is looking into the Chocolate Factory's newly streamlined privacy policy because it has said it is unsure if it conforms to EU laws on data protection.

The regulator has already sent Google a detailed questionnaire, which the company answered, but the CNIL still isn't happy.

"We are not totally satisfied with their responses so we have set up this meeting to discuss the issues with Google," CNIL president Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin told Reuters.

If the CNIL remains dissatisfied with Google's answers, its review of the policy could lead to fines of up to €300,000, and other EU regulators could levy their own fines on top of that.

Google spokesman Anthony House said the firm was happy to meet with CNIL.

"The meeting will give us chance to put things into context and explain the broader actions we are taking to protect our users' privacy," he said.

Google mashed up all its privacy policies for its different services like Gmail and YouTube into one big policy, allowing data to be shared across them, saying this would make its search results better.

But regulators all over the world have had misgivings about the fact that users can't opt out of the data sharing and how much data Google is going to have control over.

The internet behemoth is due to meet with the CNIL on 23 May, after which it will be updating a group of European data protection agencies at a meeting in early June. ®

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