EU Authorities Ask Google to “Pause” Planned Changes to Privacy Policy

Published On February 3, 2012 | By Lisa Branco | General, International, Privacy

The Article 29 Working Party (an EU advisory body that includes representatives from each of the EU’s data protection authorities) has asked Google to delay implementation of the recently announced changes to its Privacy Policy so it can conduct a review of the “possible consequences for the protection of personal data” of EU citizens.  The letter sent to Google indicates that CNIL, the French data protection authority, will lead the review.  The New York Times reports that Viviane Reding, the EU Justice Commissioner, emailed a statement supporting the request to the International Herald Tribune, saying that she hoped the European authorities would “ensure that EU law is fully complied with in Google’s new privacy policy.”  Reding reiterated her support on Twitter, tweeting:

Good that Europe’s data protection authorities are ensuring @Google’s new privacy policy complies with EU law bit.ly/xiz8U6 #EUDataP

Google posted a copy of its response to the letter on its European Public Policy blog.  In the letter, Google states that the company had “extensively pre-briefed data protection authorities across the EU prior to the launch” of the notification of changes sent to users, and “At no stage did any EU regulator suggest that any sort of pause would be appropriate.”  While Google said in its response that it “would be happy to answer [any] questions” about the privacy policy changes, the company has made no statements indicating that it would delay the planned implementation of the changes, which are currently scheduled to take effect on March 1st.

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