What have Germany, France, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and the UK all got in common, other than being active members of the European Union?
The report concluded that 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. Google was given four months to comply with the working party’s recommendations to bring the policy into line with European law. However, nothing substantive has happened since.
A statement from French data watchdog, CNIL, which headed the investigation, claimed:
“After this period has expired, Google has not implemented any significant compliance measures,”
Moreover, CNIL claimed Google was warned about the potential for action on 19 March in a meeting with officials from six data watchdogs, but has singularly failed to make any changes to its policy since that warning was given.
As a consequence, all six data protection bodies were now opening new investigations into Google and how it handles the issue of data privacy. The UK’s Information Commissioner confirmed it was looking at whether the policy complied, but refused to add any further comment because of the on-going investigation.
What about Google? What has it had to say for itself? Well, according to a Google spokesperson:
News of the latest 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.