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Data protection in EU vs. US
Posted February 3rd, 2013 - 12:37 pm from London, England
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Posted February 3rd, 2013 - 1:13 pm by from Paris, France (Permalink)
Thanks for sharing, Zeena.

"From the perspective of some European legislators, however, United
States representatives seem more interested in protecting commerce than
consumers. The full-court American effort may have backfired, they say,
pushing some European officials toward even broader measures."

I want to whole-heartedly thank Couchsurfing International Inc. for having pointed out so clearly and timely to the European Commission and data protection officials with their most recent terms of abuse how important it is to strengthen the protection of European users of U.S. based services like thise one!

Posted February 3rd, 2013 - 1:52 pm from Sisimiut, Greenland
This member profile has been deactivated

Posted April 2nd, 2013 - 7:45 pm by from Paris, France (Permalink)
2 April 2013
Last updated at 14:06 GMT


European data watchdogs target Google over privacy

Six European data protection agencies are contemplating legal action over Google's privacy policy.

The threat comes as a four-month deadline to change the policy expires with Google making "no change" to the policy.

Google's perceived failure to act is being looked in to by
data watchdogs in France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and
the UK.

In a statement, Google said its privacy policy "respects European law".

'Full engagement'
In late October 2012, a European Commission working party
reported that Google's privacy policy did not meet Commission standards
on data protection.

The report said Google should do more to let users see what
information was held about them, provide tools to manage this data and
take more care to ensure it did not store too much data about users.

The investigation was kicked off by Google's decision to
update its privacy policy so it had one set of guidelines for every
service it ran.

Google was given four months to comply with the working
party's recommendations to bring the policy into line with European law.

"After this period has expired, Google has not implemented
any significant compliance measures," said French data watchdog CNIL in a
statement. CNIL headed the probe into the privacy policy.

In addition, said CNIL, Google was warned about the potential
for action on 19 March in a meeting with officials from six data
watchdogs. "No change," was seen following this meeting, said CNIL.

As a consequence, all six data protection bodies were now
opening new investigations into Google and how it handled privacy. The
UK's Information Commissioner confirmed it was looking at whether the
policy complied but said it could not add further comment because the
investigation was ongoing.

A Google spokesman said: "Our privacy policy respects European law and allows us
to create simpler, more effective services."

"We have engaged fully with the DPAs involved throughout this
process, and we'll continue to do so going forward," added the

News of the action comes as Google's privacy director, Alma
Whitten, steps down from her job. Ms Whitten was appointed as the search
giant's first privacy director in 2010, following a series of mistakes
by Google that had led to user data being exposed.

Posted April 3rd, 2013 - 8:29 pm by from Brussels, Belgium (Permalink)
Good news from "California, which set the standard for data breach notifications nationwide, is again seeking to set a precedent by becoming the first state in the nation to require companies upon request disclose to California consumers the data they've collected and to whom it was shared during the past year. They would be required to respond within 30 days and provide the report for free."

Posted April 3rd, 2013 - 8:52 pm by from Paris, France (Permalink)
Nice. Watch term 20.1 of the terms of use change to Delaware, where the company was registered, in the future:

20.1 Governing Law.
These Terms shall be interpreted in accordance with the laws
of the State of California, USA, without regard to conflict-of-law

Posted April 8th, 2013 - 4:59 pm from Tourlaville, France
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Posted September 28th, 2013 - 7:59 am by from Paris, France (Permalink)
France threatens Google over data protection breaches

14 hours ago, Paris

— France's data protection watchdog said Friday it would take action against US giant Google for failing to comply with national privacy guidelines.

The issue of data protection has gathered steam worldwide following revelations by Edward Snowden, a former contractor with the National Security Agency, that the US had a vast, secret programme called PRISM to monitor Internet users.

France's CNIL said Google had failed to comply with data protection guidelines within a three-month deadline and said it would begin a formal sanction procedure, under which the US giant could be fined up to 150,000 euros ($205,000).

CNIL had asked Google to inform web users in France on how it processes their personal data and to define exactly how long they can store the information.

It had also requested that the US giant obtain users' permission before storing cookies on their computers, referring to files that track netizens and allow companies to target them with tailored commercials.

"On the last day of this (three-month) period, Google responded to the CNIL. Google contests the reasoning of the CNIL and has not complied with the requests laid down in the enforcement notice," the watchdog said in a statement.

"In this context, the Chair of the CNIL will now designate a rapporteur for the purpose of initiating a formal procedure for imposing sanctions."

In its response, Google made no mention of any challenge to CNIL's reasoning and maintained it respects European law.

France's move follows Google's introduction last year of a new privacy policy which enables it to track user activity across its search engine, Gmail, the Google+ social networking platform and other services it owns, which include YouTube.

The changes make it easier for Google to collect and process data that could be used by advertisers to target individuals with offers tailored to their specific interest, thereby increasing the company's revenue potential.

Google has defended the changes it made last year on the ground that they simplify and standardise its approach across its various services.

But critics argue that the policy, which offers no ability to opt out aside from refraining from signing into Google services, gives the operator of the world's largest search engine unprecedented ability to monitor its users.

While always on the agenda, the issue of data protection took on an extra dimension when Snowden's revelations were published in June.

Under PRISM, the National Security Agency can issue directives to Internet firms demanding access to emails, online chats, pictures, files, videos and more.

Since then, keen to dispel any suspicion over their role in the programme, Yahoo, Google, Facebook and others have pushed for permission to disclose more details to users about demands for data made on them in the name of fighting terrorism or other threats.

Posted September 28th, 2013 - 3:34 pm from Albuquerque, United States
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Posted September 28th, 2013 - 4:12 pm from Berlin, Germany
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Posted September 28th, 2013 - 7:49 pm from London, England
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