EU Attacks Google for "Risking" User Privacy With New Policy
October 16, 2012 2:29 PM
Regulators demand Google offers an opt-out to its inter-service data-set merger
Google Inc. (
), the king of internet software services, is taking fire from privacy regulators in a number of European Union member states over
I. Privacy Regulators Accuse Google of "Risking" User Privacy
With the update, Google rolled the policies across all its services
into a single policy
. It also hinted that it may be merging its cross-service data into a single gargantuan data set, which will mine a number of sensitive private details, including location, interests, age, sexual orientation, sexual habits, relationship status, religion, political views, health concerns, employment status, and more.
That change has EU regulators alarmed.
Google is looking to mine your sensitive personal data to a greater extent
than has ever before been possible. [Image Source: Amazon.com]
In a letter signed by 24 of the EU's 27 data regulators, plus representatives from Croatia and Liechtenstein, the officials write, "Combining personal data on such a large scale creates high risks to the privacy of users. Therefore, Google should modify its practices when combining data across services for these purposes."
Regulators accuse Google of risking user privacy for profit. [Image Source: Gizmodo]
Significantly, the EU stopped short of saying Google's actions currently are violating EU antitrust laws. But it did offer up a list of 12 requests that it would like Google to comply with in order to safeguard users. Most of those requests involve clarifying the details of how certain kinds of sensitive information (say credit card numbers) would be mined and curated.
II. EU to Google: Give Users an Opt Out
But the crucial suggestion is that Google make clear whether it is planning to merge its cross-service data sets (Google hasn't quite said that it is, although most analysts believe that is what it's planning based on the latest terms of service (ToS) language). Moreover, they ask that Google give EU users an opt-out of the data set merger.
That's something, which will likely frustrate Google. After all, a larger richer data set means better tracking and more ad revenue -- more money in Google's pocket. If users opt out the cross-service tracking, they will potentially gain greater privacy, but likely at the cost of Google's profits.
The EU wants Google to allow users top opt out of the data-set merger.
[Image Source: My eCRM]
Thus some expect Google will fight the opt-out request, unless it is mandated. Chris Watson, a lawyer at CMS Cameron McKenna LLP,
In a statement
So all things considered, this letter may prove only an open statement in a game of chicken played by EU regulators and Google, both of which are eyeing the other waiting for them to back down.
The debate may eventually be mirrored in the U.S., where
Congress has asked Google similar privacy questions
, both regarding its wired and mobile presence.
Google [via Engadget]
"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007
As Google Moves Towards Massive User Monitoring, Governments Fight Back
February 29, 2012, 2:43 PM
January 31, 2012, 11:04 AM
Apple, Google Head to Congress to Discuss Privacy Issues
May 9, 2011, 8:16 AM
Google plans ultra-fast wireless Internet for Research Triangle Park, N.C.
August 12, 2016, 6:30 AM
Twitter Senior VP: "Diversity is Important, But We Can’t Lower the Bar"
November 9, 2015, 9:59 AM
CNN Resorts to Internet Censorship to Promote Clinton Over Senator Sanders
October 15, 2015, 2:47 PM
Breaking Bad: How to Crash Google's Chrome Browser With Just 8 Characters
September 23, 2015, 11:08 AM
Quick Note: Amazon UK Offers £10 Back on Any Order £50 or Over
August 3, 2015, 12:05 PM
Editorial: Reddit Allows Itself to be Hijacked as a Hate Platform For Racist Bigots
July 21, 2015, 6:32 PM
Most Popular Articles
Phillips 55’ 4K Smart TV – Is This Really a Deal? We Think So.
November 25, 2016, 9:44 AM
Sales Battle - Apple iPad Mini vs Samsung Galaxy Tab
November 29, 2016, 12:36 AM
Echo Dot is a Best Seller - Sold Out Until December 1, 2016.
November 26, 2016, 6:00 AM
PlayStation 4 Pro – 4K Console for 4K TVs
November 28, 2016, 1:00 AM
Star Wars Android Smartphones coming to a Japanese Galaxy Near You
November 26, 2016, 5:00 AM
Latest Blog Posts
Dec 2, 2016, 5:00 AM
Surface Ergonomic Keyboard
Dec 1, 2016, 3:01 AM
Chapeconense plane crash: Football rallies around Brazilian Team
Nov 30, 2016, 1:00 AM
How to Extends Your iPhone’s Battery Life
Nov 29, 2016, 12:49 AM
Nov 28, 2016, 1:12 AM
News: Fidel Castro
Nov 27, 2016, 5:00 AM
Nov 26, 2016, 5:00 AM
Changes in Social status affect the way genes turn on and off within immune cells.
Nov 25, 2016, 5:12 AM
Austrian far–right hopeful Hofer may back EU vote.
Nov 24, 2016, 4:00 AM
Final Fantasy XV Leaked Before Nov 29 Launch Date
Nov 23, 2016, 1:00 AM
Nov 22, 2016, 2:26 AM
Nov 21, 2016, 1:00 AM
HTC Makes Big Moves in China
Nov 20, 2016, 2:00 AM
Do you know who is the number one company in the word?
Nov 19, 2016, 5:30 AM
Foldable Cardboard ”EcoHelmet” wins James Dyson Award’s Top Prize
Nov 18, 2016, 2:39 AM
Scientists Discover Roundest Object Ever Spotted in Universe
Nov 17, 2016, 1:00 AM
Smallest Device Lets You Print Almost from Anywhere
Nov 16, 2016, 9:32 AM
Cancer Screening in the Community Is there a link between Cancer and Poverty?
Nov 15, 2016, 8:00 AM
Points to Consider when Buying Your New PC – Window 10 PC Buying Guide
Nov 14, 2016, 5:00 AM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information