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Google is given three months to comply with French Data Protection Act

Firm says it is ready to engage
Thu Jun 20 2013, 13:23
Google logo (Robert Scoble Flickr)

INTERNET SEARCH FIRM Google has had a fire lit under it by the French Data Protection Authority, the CNIL.

The French watchdog treated the firm like a chewable piece of animal hide and has made successive attempts at taking it to task and pull it into line.

Google has always said that it is engaging with the authority, and today while staring down the barrel of a three month deadline it said that this is still the case.

"Our privacy policy respects European law and allows us to create simpler, more effective services," said a Google spokesman. "We have engaged fully with the authorities involved throughout this process, and we'll continue to do so going forward."

According to the CNIL, Google has been slow to come forward and has missed a four month deadline imposed on it in October.

We all know that the best way to deal with a missed deadline is to extend it, and that is what the CNIL has done here. However, it has cut Google's turnaround time by a month.

The CNIL said that within the three month period it wants answers on a range of things, including details on how much personal data Google takes and for how long, and what benefits Google gets from the use of cookies.

None of this is binding, but the CNIL suggested that it is a move in the correct direction.

"This formal notice does not aim to substitute for Google to define the concrete measures to be implemented, but rather to make it reach compliance with the legal principles, without hindering either its business model or its innovation ability," it explained.

"If Google Inc. does not comply with this formal notice at the end of the given time limit, CNIL's Select Committee (formation restreinte), in charge of sanctioning breaches to the French Data Protection Act, may issue a sanction against the company."

Data Protection Authorities from Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK are also conducting their own investigations. µ


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