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Google in breach of EU privacy laws, commissioner says

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 02 Mar 2012 9:12 User comments (5)

Google in breach of EU privacy laws, commissioner says Google's new privacy policy gets attention in Europe.
The European Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, Viviane Reding, said on Thursday that data protection institutions within the European Union have found Google's new privacy policy in breach of European laws. Her comments come after the French data protection group, CNIL, questioned the legality of the new broad privacy policy across multiple Google services.

"They have come to the conclusion that they are deeply concerned, and that the new rules are not in accordance with the European law, and that the transparency rules have not been applied," Viviane Reding told the BBC in the UK.

"Protection of personal data is a basic rule of the European Union. It is inscribed in the treaties. It is not an if, it is a must."

Google argues that it is just simplifying its privacy policy by consolidating 60 guidelines into a single one that applies to many Google services, such as Google+ and YouTube. Users do not have an option to opt out of the changes.

Reding was asked how the new privacy policy may violate laws in the European Union, and responded: "In numerous respects. One is that nobody had been consulted, it is not in accordance with the law on transparency and it utilises the data of private persons in order to hand it over to third parties, which is not what the users have agreed to."

She also cited research that showed more than 70 percent of users either rarely, or never, read terms and conditions of web services before they sign up, and therefore have no idea what will be done with personal data they store with such services.

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5 user comments

12.3.2012 11:21

Thus the tale of Kiel & his endeavor as the center link in the human cent-ipad from one of the South Park episodes.

It hasn't been 'just' me arguing against our quaker mentalities & elitist mind frames of how humanity is "so much better than" & how "we should be above" social mal conformists & the so grossly depraved that we have over constructed our societies into such grand complexity that we have made it literally easy for these ass junkies to slip out the cages that they need to be in (or the gas chamber that should have disposed of them in the first place) & put them right back into the very society their egocentric aptitude felt could reform. Contradicting the very idea of snuffing one life in order to save many.

No, this doesn't immediately reflect Google's inability to 'fine print' every subtle nuance of every legalese there could be imagined on the planet in every possible dialect... I would refer you back to George Carlin narrowing down the 10 commandments into 3 for a quick possible idea of what Google was trying to do.

I'm thinking on one hand, yeah, Google stepped in it. On the other, Viviane needs to get some new batteries for the vibrator & stop trying to justify her paycheck on this one in the public arena. It's not like Google DIDN'T already have all the legalese printed up before on another sheet of paper.


22.3.2012 11:50

Quote:
She also cited research that showed more than 70 percent of users either rarely, or never, read terms and conditions of web services before they sign up, and therefore have no idea what will be done with personal data they store with such services.
Who's fault is that? Instead of using the excuse that Google's changes are illegal because no one reads TOSs (a ridiculous claim in itself), they should rather require companies' TOSs to meet certain standards. For example, only being three pages, or not being completely in legal jargon....which is still a ridiculous mess of unnecessary company censorship, but better than claiming that companies are not allowed to change their own TOS!

If a consumer does not read the TOS before agreeing, regardless of how long it is, that doesn't change the fact that they agree. And in Google's defense, they have plastered the fact that their privacy policy is changing everywhere, in red text. If you decide not to read it and still use Google, there is no excuse.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 02 Mar 2012 @ 11:51

32.3.2012 11:58

Originally posted by Notcow:
Quote:
She also cited research that showed more than 70 percent of users either rarely, or never, read terms and conditions of web services before they sign up, and therefore have no idea what will be done with personal data they store with such services.
Who's fault is that? Instead of using the excuse that Google's changes are illegal because no one reads TOSs (a ridiculous claim in itself), they should rather require companies' TOSs to meet certain standards. For example, only being three pages, or not being completely in legal jargon....which is still a ridiculous mess of unnecessary company censorship, but better than claiming that companies are not allowed to change their own TOS!

If a consumer does not read the TOS before agreeing, regardless of how long it is, that doesn't change the fact that they agree. And in Google's defense, they have plastered the fact that their privacy policy is changing everywhere, in red text. If you decide not to read it and still use Google, there is no excuse.
She didn't say Google's changes were illegal because people didn't read the TOS, she was explaining why the regulations are important, because people don;t read the TOS. So, ironically, both of you are agreed :P

42.3.2012 12:02

Originally posted by Dela:
Originally posted by Notcow:
Quote:
She also cited research that showed more than 70 percent of users either rarely, or never, read terms and conditions of web services before they sign up, and therefore have no idea what will be done with personal data they store with such services.
Who's fault is that? Instead of using the excuse that Google's changes are illegal because no one reads TOSs (a ridiculous claim in itself), they should rather require companies' TOSs to meet certain standards. For example, only being three pages, or not being completely in legal jargon....which is still a ridiculous mess of unnecessary company censorship, but better than claiming that companies are not allowed to change their own TOS!

If a consumer does not read the TOS before agreeing, regardless of how long it is, that doesn't change the fact that they agree. And in Google's defense, they have plastered the fact that their privacy policy is changing everywhere, in red text. If you decide not to read it and still use Google, there is no excuse.
She didn't say Google's changes were illegal because people didn't read the TOS, she was explaining why the regulations are important, because people don;t read the TOS. So, ironically, both of you are agreed :P
Oh, haha...in that case, go Reding!

52.3.2012 21:28
SmaryJerry
Unverified new user

I don't get her argument. The "third parties" Google is providing information to is... also Google..

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