Feeds

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

Data protection cops get feisty

The Power of One Infographic

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That ECJ ruling means individuals can request the removal of old and out of date links that are not in the public interest from web search engine results pages.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

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

More from The Register

next story
Sit back down, Julian Assange™, you're not going anywhere just yet
Swedish court refuses to withdraw arrest warrant
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
Delaware pair nabbed for getting saucy atop Mexican eatery
Burrito meets soft taco in alleged rooftop romp outrage
British cops cuff 660 suspected paedophiles
Arrests people allegedly accessing child abuse images online
LightSquared backer sues FCC over spectrum shindy
Why, we might as well have been buying AIR
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.