EU watchdogs have admitted Google must revise its privacy policy.

EU watchdogs’ decision in March is to consolidate 60 privacy policies into one agreement. It allows to combine the data from all their products, such as YouTube, Google+ and smart phone system Android.

CNIL (French data privacy regulator), which led to the inquiry, said that Google had “months” to make changes. Google has been told to give the information about what data is being collected, for what purpose and also to give users more control over how the information is combined.

Therefore, if there is no action taken, CNIL would have to appeal to court. However, Google said it needed more time to figure out the details. Peter Fleischer, global privacy counsel, said that they have received a report. Thus, Google has been accused of providing “incomplete” details. All of that raises concerns about data protection.

CNIL investigation

CNIL carried out the investigation. 27 members of the European Union agreed on that, but Greece, Romania and Lithuania have not yet signed up. By the way, non-EU states Croatia and Liechtenstein have participated.

After revising Google’s policy in details, it was discovered that Google has failed to place any limit on the “scope of collection and the potential uses of the personal data”. That means, there was no distinсtion between search engine queries, typed-in credit card numbers or telephone communications.

The following changes were proposed by EU data protection laws:

  • Reinforcing users’ consent. It suggests allowing its members to choose how data was combined by asking them to click on dedicated buttons.
  • Google should offer a centralised opt-out tool allowing users to decide which services provide data about them.
  • Google should adapt its tools in order to limit data use to authorised purposes. It should be able to use a person’s collated data to improve security.

Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin, the CNIL’s president, said the company had “three or four months” to make the revisions.

‘Essential step’

UK campaign group Big Brother Watch welcomed the news. “It’s absolutely right that European regulators focus on ensuring people know what data is being collected and how it is being used,” said the organisation’s director, Nick Pickles.

“Unless people are aware just how much of their behaviour is being monitored and recorded it is impossible to make an informed choice about using services”.

There is a new unified search tool of Google that works across several of its products. Gmail, Google Calendar and Drive cloud storage services are now in a trial version for users.

For more information, please visit the link: http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-19959306