EU commissioner says new Google privacy policy breaks the law

Google rolled out its new privacy policy Thursday to renewed protests from data protection authorities in Europe.

Those authorities have concluded that the new policy violates European law, European Union Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding told BBC Radio Four.

France’s data protection authority has taken the lead in probing the new policy.

“They have come to the conclusion that they are deeply concerned, and that the new rules are not in accordance with the European law, and that the transparency rules have not been applied,” Reding said, according to Reuters.


“We are confident that our new simple, clear and transparent privacy policy respects all European data protection laws and principles,” a Google spokeswoman said in an emailed statement.

The Trans Atlantic Consumer Dialogue, which makes policy recommendations to the U.S. and the European Union, has called on Google to halt the new policy.

Japan has also asked Google to handle user information with care.

And U.S. consumer watchdogs are up in arms, saying the only way for consumers to avoid being monitored by Google is to quit using it.


Standard & Poor’s analyst Scott Kessler issued a research note on Google on Thursday. In it he said negative publicity from the protests to the changes to Google’s privacy policy “increases associated risks and detracts from Google’s image and brand.”

Google defended its new policy Thursday, saying it’s easier for consumers to understand. It dismissed criticism as “chatter and confusion.”


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