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Google defies Europe over updated privacy policy

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By John Glenday, Reporter

February 19, 2013 | 2 min read

Google has locked horns with European privacy watchdogs after it openly defied their order to reverse changes to the small print of the terms and conditions of use for popular services such as search, Gmail and YouTube.

The digital firm’s updated privacy policy was introduced last March in order to allow it to merge personal information gleaned from its customers using each individual service to create one master profile, to boost advertising.

This prompted European regulators, including Britain’s Information Commissioner, to publicly rebuke the firm in October, whilst also issuing Google with a four month ultimatum to reverse the changes.

To date no response to that order has been received however, prompting the EU to promise it will take ‘repressive action’, such as the imposition of national fines, to force Google to comply.

Regulators led by France’s CNIL allege that Google’s new policy does not fully inform users of how they could be tracked and how information stored about them could be used.

A Google spokesperson said: “Our privacy policy respects European law and allows us to create simpler, more effective services. We have engaged fully with the CNIL throughout this process, and we’ll continue to do so."

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