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Google said it is taking the necessary steps to do so

Google is under the microscope once again by European data regulators, who say the search giant needs to correct its privacy policy by this summer.

Last year, Google consolidated 60 privacy policies into one -- allowing the company to combine user data across several services like Gmail, YouTube and Google+. This strategy is especially useful when selling advertisements.

According to data protection regulators in Europe, this puts users at "high risk" as far as privacy goes. Also, users cannot opt out. Hence, Europe's 27 data regulators gave Google four months to change this policy back in October -- but according to these groups, Google has not yet addressed these concerns.

French privacy group CNIL was particularly upset with Google's actions, saying it would take further action if Google does not work on its privacy policy by summer.

"Google did not provide any precise and effective answers," CNIL said. "In this context, the EU data protection authorities are committed to act and continue their investigations. Therefore, they propose to set up a working group, led by the CNIL, in order to coordinate their reaction, which should take place before summer."

However, Google said it did respond on January 8 with a list of the steps it planned to take.
Late last month, Google updated its privacy policy in the U.S. It  wanted to make the privacy policies easier to understand for the end-user and to make it easier for Google to share a user's information between different apps when the users sign into their Google account.

Earlier last month,
Google managed to escape a nearly two-year U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) investigation without paying any fines, but the EU said it didn't plan on going easy on Google the way he FTC did. Joaquin Almunia, Europe's antitrust chief, recently said that Google is providing search results that promote its own services instead of fairly showing those of competitors.

Source: Reuters

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RE: "users cannot opt out. "
By TSS on 2/18/2013 5:39:53 PM , Rating: 2
It's not about that, it's about the people who are already using google services and thus might have stuff that does not allow them to "stop using them".

Been using Gmail for 4 years, have it entered everywhere and then google makes a policy change you don't agree with. Do you opt out to never look at that email box again? Of course not, you can't remember everywhere you inputted that email account.

Not only that, but there's social pressure. Everybody and their mother uses youtube on a regular basis now. Not using it almost makes you a social pariah, especially if you explain why to people who do not have similar concirns.

In short, the old "bait and switch". Get people in with promises of privacy, and once they're at the point they can't get out easily, take away the privacy. The EU should look into this, rightfully so.

Free does not mean not-anti competative or not-harmfull.

RE: "users cannot opt out. "
By Trisped on 2/18/2013 10:35:58 PM , Rating: 2
Download all your data from gmail (they make it WAY easier then Microsoft).
Delete everything from gmail.
Change your password.

If you want you may also contact Google and ask them to delete your account.

Personally, I have read the agreements and find nothing wrong with them. So they are keeping my information together rather then separate; they are still keeping my data.

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007

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