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E.U.: Regulators pressure Google to change privacy policy

 |  October 17, 2012

In a letter to the CEO of Google Larry Page, 27 European data-protection agencies have asked Google to modify its global privacy policy that governs dozens of Google’s online services- including Google’s search engine, Android mobile phone apps, and YouTube videos – so that users have a clearer understanding of what personal data is being collected and shared with advertisers.

In its new privacy policy last winter, Google said it was collecting personal data, like the sex and age of users and their web browsing histories, only if users “opted in.” Google claims that the new policy respects European Union law, and is commitment to protecting users’ information. However, Policy regulators claim that Google provides users with incomplete disclosure, and makes it cumbersome for users to block the collection of these data. If Google accepts the regulators recommendations, then customers will have the option to ‘opt out’ from sharing their personal information, which may hinder Google’s advertising revenue.

In addition to the letter to Mr. Page, Antitrust officials at the European Commission are investigating whether Google has used its search engine to favor its own services and through preferential rankings to put competitors at a disadvantage.

Full Content: NY Times

Related Content: How the FTC Could Beat Google

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