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France to take action against Google over privacy

Photo: AFP
2 min

France’s data protection watchdog said Friday it is launching formal proceedings against Google after the US Internet giant failed to meet a deadline to change its privacy policy to meet French regulations.

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A French data protection watchdog is set to take action against Google over failing to comply with the country’s privacy guidelines.

The National Commission on Computing and Freedom (CNIL) said Friday that the US Internet giant had failed to meet a three-month deadline, handed to it in June, to change its privacy policy to meet French regulations.

It had asked Google to inform users in France on how it processes their personal data and to define how long they can keep the information.

But in a statement on its website the CNIL said that Google had failed to make the requested changes and that it will now begin a formal sanction procedure against the company, which could result in a fine of up to 150,000 euros.

Commenting on the CNIL’s decision, Google spokesman Al Verney said: “Our privacy policy respects European law and allows us to create simpler, more effective services. We have engaged fully with CNIL throughout this process and will continue to do so going forward.''

Friday's action puts new pressure on Google over its data protection record, with the company still smarting from criticism over providing customer information to the US government as part of its fight against foreign terrorists.

Complaints by other European countries over Google’s privacy policy have also risked damaging the company’s reputation among internet users.

The CNIL said that Google has largely ignored previous recommendations from European regulators and noted that similar actions against the company are currently underway in Spain, Germany, Britain, Italy and the Netherlands.

(FRANCE 24 with wires)

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