European Agencies Seek Google Privacy Changes


A group of privacy agencies from Europe have called on Google to make few changes to the way the company releases data about statistics collected from consumers of its search engine and other web services. The changes suggested by the agencies will be announced by this weekend. It would also ask Google to withdraw the revamp of its private policy that the internet giant introduced in March, according to a memo written by the European agencies and evaluated by Wall Street Journal.

A spokesperson of Europe’s privacy supervisory board that led the alliance of agencies could not be reached for comments and a Google representative declined to comment. Previously this year, Google said that it started merging dozens of policies, managing the company’s web services and started checking whether or not users are signed into their accounts, videos watched by them on YouTube, and other details about web search history in combination with other services. It said that the changes would improve user’s experience due to services like YT, which may even suggest users to watch videos, which are more relevant to them.

The company that alerted the users to the modifications before they finalized the policy said the changes would boost its online ad business as the advertisers would be able to better access their notes to relevant Google account owners. Google’s newly added privacy policy was more in line when compared to its competitors, including Apple Inc, Yahoo Inc, and Microsoft.

The changes made in the three-page letter, handed over to Larry Page, Chief Executive at Google said that the alliance of Europe’s Union Data Protection authorities is maintained by CNIL, one of the French agencies that asked the company to execute several changes. The suggestions include addition of layers of notices to consumers, using Google’s services and forming an interactive presentation through which users can navigate easily via the data of the policies. It also recommended providing more accurate info about the data, which has a great positive impact on users, such as credit card data and location.

In the letter, watchdogs also suggested the company to adapt such privacy notices to passive users and mobile device owners, while they’re logged in to Google account, such as Google+ and Gmail. The regulators also asked Google to clarify the aim of the combination of content that people use on its services. It also gives some solutions to accomplish the adaption, including explicit approval for the combination of data for certain modes.


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