EU to Google – Not so Fast with the new Privacy Policies!

05 February 2012 Internet, IT & e-Discovery Blog Blog
Authors: Peter Vogel

EU officials announced that the new Google Privacy Policies may not insure compliance with EU laws and asked Google to halt these changes pending an investigation of the implications of personal data protection. Google’s new Privacy Policies are scheduled to go into effect on March 1, 2012 and the New York Times reported that EU authorities wrote to Larry Page (Google CEO): “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 E.U. citizens.”

In the Meantime – EU Proposes Changes to its 1995 Privacy Law

The current Privacy law went into effect in 1995 and the origins of the law began in 1989 because of social concerns about privacy on mainframes, long before Social Media took off with Facebook, Google, Wikipedia, and the rest. So as you may image in 1989 let along 1995 there was no way the EU could have foreseen the evolution of the Internet and Social Media.

As my good friend Erika Morphy recently reported for eCommerce Times that “Europe appears poised to enact strict new privacy regulations geared to protect consumer data, but the debate is far from over. Representatives of businesses, particularly e-commerce companies, are descending on Brussels to plead their case.” 

In particular Facebook and other Social Media sites are concerned about the EU’s new plans for privacy that restrict Internet sites more strictly than ever before and require the Internet business to assume more responsibilities for protecting individuals. The new EU law includes a new concept referred to as “right to be forgotten” which would surely impact the large Social Media sites.

So was Google trying to change its Privacy Policies before the EU modified its 1995 Privacy laws? What do you think?

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