Feeds

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

Data protection cops get feisty

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

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That ECJ ruling means individuals can request the removal of old and out of date links that are not in the public interest from web search engine results pages.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

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Has Europe cut the UK adrift on data protection?
EU reckons we've one foot out the door anyway
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Government's 'Google Review' copyright rules become law
Welcome in a New Era ... of copyright litigation
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
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
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.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.