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The search company may be breaking European law by keeping search records too long

The European Union's data protection watchdog, known as the Article 29 Working Group, has issued a letter warning Google that its data retention policies may be in violation of EU laws.

The BBC reports that EU data protection commissioners who serve on the Article 29 panel are concerned about the search giant's practice of keeping personal search records for two years.

Google tracks and stores all queries, associating search terms and history with individual users based on their unique IP address. While the company has stated that the records are used to monitor and improve its search-related services, critics charge that the data could be used to profile users and pry into their personal lives.

The EU effort to reign in Google's privacy policies has the backing of the Union's Justice Commissioner Franco Frattini, who has affirmed that he "considers those questions raised by the letter to be appropriate and legitimate," according to an EU spokesman.

A Google spokeswoman confirmed that the EU privacy group is concerned about the company "keeping information about people's search for a definite period of time ranging from 18 to 24 months." She told the BBC that Google plans to address the EU complaints prior to the data protection panel's next meeting in late June.



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RE: Now its a warning then a fine
By Christopher1 on 5/27/2007 7:33:15 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
However, in March 2006, the European Union enacted a Directive on Mandatory Retention of Communications Traffic Data, which requires Member States to require communications providers to retain communications data for a period of between 6 months and 2 years.


That is the reason why Google is doing this, most likely. They are REQUIRED by European Union law to keep this information for nearly 6 months to 2 years.

I don't see why they should really have to do this (I know the arguements about 'catching predators' but those are patently false), if the police REALLY think that someone is trading CP, downloading something else illegal, etc. they can just get a warrant and tap their internet.

Of course, they would then have to PROVE that the person who they are going after is the right person, which they cannot do if someone has a wireless router or shares their internet connection with other people (school router, etc.).


RE: Now its a warning then a fine
By crystal clear on 5/27/2007 9:51:38 AM , Rating: 2
1)Yes Google has to respect/obey laws of indivisual countries,let it be any country in the world not only the EU.

2)Yes the right way is through negotiations & not warnings & fines.

3)Yes the EU member countries themselves are a disunited lot.They can never agree upon anything,let alone Mandatory Retention of Communications Traffic Data.
Example-
quote:
16 of the 25 member states of the EU have declared that they will delay the implementation of data retention of Internet traffic data for the additional period.


4)EU is one organized mess-where Brussels Proposes & the member states Disposes.

This drags on,whilst companies are caught in between not knowing which way to go.

Brussels is overflowing with Lawyers,Consultants,Advisors,
Lobbyist,Representatives,Experts,Diplomats etc.

They always AGREE to DISAGREE & AGREE when to meet again.
All are HAPPY,so also the EU commisioners/depts.

They are Friends at the Dinning Table & Enemies at the NEGOTIATION TABLE.
Life goes on this way.
Example-
They need 3 yrs - from March 06 to March 09 to agree on a common policy.
quote:
however, a delay of 18 additional months, until March of 2009, is available.


Thats life in Brussels on a FAT EXPENSE ACCT.!


RE: Now its a warning then a fine
By GI2K on 5/27/2007 10:23:10 AM , Rating: 2
2)That's the US way of doing things... here you get fined or in jail till you respect the law. I like better our system than now have companies and individuals buy their impunity.

3)Really then why are they all still together?... and more joining in?...

4)Brussels is a city, it's not an independent entity... besides the commissioners are representatives of the various countries, and if most of them have agreed with the mandatory log of the communications I don't see why you say they keep disagreeing.


"Let's face it, we're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn." -- Seagate CEO Bill Watkins











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