Europe Wants Google To Freeze Its New Privacy Policy

An influential European privacy body has urged Google (NSDQ: GOOG) to “pause” its new privacy policy due to be implemented in March. The Article 29 Data Protection Working Party wrote a letter to Larry Page…

“Given the wide range of services you offer, and popularity of these services, changes in your privacy policy may affect many citizens in most or all of the EU member states.

We wish to check the possible consequences for the protection of the personal data of these citizens in a coordinated procedure. We have therefore asked the French data protection authority, the CNIL, to take the lead. The CNIL has kindly accepted this task and will be your point of contact for the data protection authorities in the EU.

“In light of the above, we call for a pause in the interests of ensuring that there can be no misunderstanding about Google’s commitments to information rights of their users and EU citizens, until we have completed our analysis.”

The Article 29 group advises the executive European Commission on data protection and privacy matters and comprises representatives of member states’ national data protection bodies.

In January, Google said it would unify privacy policies from over 70 of its products, a move which mirrors its unification of user services with Google+ and its personalised search launch. It explained: “Regulators globally have been calling for shorter, simpler privacy policies.”

The Article 29 group has previously forced Google to reduce its data retention time, unsuccessfully asked Google to warn the public before it starts photographing for Street View, issued tough new location sharing guidelines and adjudged a Facebook privacy policy revision “unacceptable

The European Commision’s justice department sought to raise public awareness of use of their data by designating January 28 European Data Protection Day.

Separately, the EC’s antitrust department is currently assessing competition complaints against Google.