Feeds

EU privacy A-Team tells Google: Get a grip and obey OUR laws

Data protection cops get feisty

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The EU's advisory panel on privacy and data protection has warned Google to comply with Europe's laws in an unusually strongly worded statement.

The Article 29 Working Party vowed to investigate if Google refused to abide by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) rulingGoogle Spain v Gonzalez et al – that decreed Google was not exempt from data protection and privacy legislation on the Continent.

That ECJ ruling means individuals can request the removal of old and out of date links that are not in the public interest from web search engine results pages.

Google responded by appointing a committee of five "independent" advisors, two of whom have already called for the law to be changed.

In response to Google's prickly response, the European working party – a body which is independent of the EC and represents states' data-protection authorities – promised [PDF] to develop "a coordinated response to complaints of data subjects if search engines do not erase their content whose removal has been requested".

If you don't respect the law, the working party is saying, we'll investigate – and take the side of the individual, where merited. It's about as strongly worded as a communique from a Brussels advisory structure can get.

The Article 29 Working Party (WP29) also advises web search engines "to put in place user-friendly and pedagogical tools for the exercise by their users of their right to request the deletion of the search results links containing information relating to them. More generally, search engines should ensure compliance with the opinion of the WP29 on data protection issues related to search engines".

Reg sources familiar with the Article 29 Working Party tell us that after it wrote to Google in 2012 reminding the company that its privacy policy broke EU law, Google failed to reply. That enraged the privacy regulators and has magnified the problem for the US giant.

The working party conclude its latest missive, dated 6 June, by reminding Google that the dispute is part of a "wider context of ongoing exchanges" between Europe's privacy regulators and Google. What this means is a reminder that US-based consumer data-processing giants like Google and Facebook may actually be in breach of European law. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
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
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
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Special pleading against mass surveillance won't help anyone
Protecting journalists alone won't protect their sources
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
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?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.