Google Plows Ahead With Privacy Changes, as EU Concerns Remain

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Google has implemented its highly controversial new privacy policy, despite requests from EU regulatory bodies to delay it until further investigations into its impact have taken place.

The policy will take effect from today and has allowed Google to consolidate more than 60 of its privacy policies into one main document. By doing this, Google will be able to unify customer data across most of its products.

This will mostly affect those with a Google Account, where if a user is signed in, Google may combine information on that user from one service with information from other services.

However, the CNIL, an EU organisation that is charged with ensuring technology doesn't infringe on citizens' privacy, wrote to Google asking it to postpone the application of the new policy due to EU data protection authorities being "deeply concerned".

"By merging the privacy policies of its services, Google makes it impossible to understand which purposes, personal data, recipients or access rights are relevant to the use of a specific service," wrote the CNIL in a statement.

"As such, Google's new policy fails to meet the requirements of the European Data Protection Directive regarding the information that must be provided to data subjects," it continued.

"The CNIL and the EU data protection authorities are deeply concerned about the combination of data across services and have strong doubts about the lawfulness and fairness of such processing. They intend to address these questions in detail with Google's representatives".

Google confirmed in a blog today that the new privacy rules have been implemented and tried to resolve any "chatter and confusion" with an explanation of why it has consolidated its previous policy documents.

It states that it is not collecting any new or additional information about users, it won't be selling personal data, it believes the new policy will be easier to understand and will enable it to provide a more personalised experience.

"We'll continue to look for ways to make it simpler for you to understand and control how we use the information you entrust to us," wrote Alma Whitten, director of privacy, product and engineering at Google.

"We build Google for you, and we think these changes will make our services even better".

This story, "Google Plows Ahead With Privacy Changes, as EU Concerns Remain" was originally published by Computerworld UK.

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