EU Seeks to Punish Google over Privacy Policy Changes

EU regulators are starting to build a case against the company

EU regulators may move slow, but they sure look more determined than their US counterparts. It now seems that EU privacy and data protection regulators are looking to "take action" against Google over the changes to its privacy policies implemented about a year ago.

At that time, Google merged most of the tens of policies that governed its various products into a single document.

This made it easier to know how your data is protected, or not, but it also opened the door to data sharing between services.

Previously, even though they were run by the same company and you used the same account, your Gmail data wasn't available to the search engine and the other way around.

Since the change was implemented, Google has rolled out several new features that wouldn't have been possible under the old policies, like the unified search in Gmail and the search engine.

But EU regulators are not pleased, the French CNIL in particular, the National Commission for Computing and Civil Liberties, wasn't too keen on the changes and it was especially not keen on Google's response to its original worries which was to ignore them altogether.

Last October, the EU regulators warned Google that it needed to respond to their concerns or face legal action. Apparently, Google continued to ignore them, which left the bureaucrats with no option than to sue.

Well, for now, they are preparing to start working on a plan to discuss what they can do about all of this. Which is to say, it's going to take a while.

A working group will be formed before summer and this working group will figure out what to investigate and how to prepare the case for the eventual legal action.

For its part, Google says it has been cooperating with the regulators and that it believes it complies with European privacy laws. Which is a diplomatic way of saying that it won't budge and that it's prepared to take this to court.

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