Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Google given three months to change privacy policies by France

Google has been given three months to revise its privacy policy by the French data protection watchdog.

The search engine giant could face a huge fine from France’s data protection watchdog if it doesn’t amend its privacy policies.

Spain has started a “sanction procedure” against Google and the UK, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands are also planning to take action.

The French data protection watchdog, The Commission Nationale de L’Informatique et des Libertes (CNIL), is joining up with other European companies in an attempt to pressure Google to improve consumer privacy protection.

The CNIL has already issued Google with a formal notice warning that it will face a fine up to €150,000 (£128,000) if it doesn’t change its policies within three months. If it continues to ignore the warnings it will face an additional fine of €300,000 (£256,000).

It expects Google to give users “defined and explicit purposes” for the retention of their personal data, which includes people’s names, photographs, phone numbers and what device they are using.

Google will also have to outline “definite retention periods” for the collected data, and shouldn’t be allowed to continue with the “potentially unlimited combination of users’ data” that allows Google to build a complete picture of named individually.

“Our privacy policy respects European law and allows us to create simpler, more effective services”, said a Google spokesman. “We have engaged fully with the authorities involved throughout this process, and we’ll continue to do so going forward.”

The UK Information Commissioner’s Office is also deciding whether Google’s privacy policy complies with the Data Protection Act 1998, while Spain’s own data protection agency has told Google it intends to take legal action for data protection law infringement.

“This case is a significant test of how strong the laws are to protect our privacy in an internet age,” said director of the Big Brother Watch privacy campaign. “Fines totalling a few million dollars will hardly trouble a multi-billion dollar empire and it’s essential that action does force the company to respect our privacy and put users’ rights before the demands of its advertising customers.”

Next, read Google Glass the privacy problem – and how to solve it.


Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2003, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.

Trusted Reviews Logo

Sign up to our newsletter

Get the best of Trusted Reviews delivered right to your inbox.

This is a test error message with some extra words