from aljazeera.com: Six European countries, including France and Britain, have launched a
joint action against Google to get the US Internet giant to scale back
on new monitoring powers that watchdogs believe violate EU privacy
France's Cnil data protection agency said in a statement that the
concerted action was launched "on the basis of the provisions laid down
in their respective national legislation" to force Google to bring its
action came after the EU's 27 member states warned Google in October
not to apply the new policy, and gave it four months to make changes or
face legal action.
When that deadline expired in February, several European data
protection agencies set up a task force to pursue a co-ordinated action
against the search engine pioneer.
Despite sharp criticism from US and European consumer advocacy
services that condensed around 60 previous sets of rules into one and
allowed the company to track users more closely to develop targeted
Among the Google services affected were Gmail, YouTube, the Android
mobile system, social networks and its ubiquitous internet search
company's representatives met on March 19 with the task force, which
included agencies from Britain, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands
Cnil also said it had notified Google that it had launched an inspection procedure.
In a statement sent to the AFP news agency, the company said "privacy
policy respects European law and allows us to create simpler, more
effective services. We have engaged fully with the data protection
agencies involved throughout this process, and we'll continue to do so
But critics argue that the new policy gives the operator of the
world's largest search engine an unprecedented ability to monitor its
EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding welcomed the move.
"It is good to see that six national data protection authorities are
teaming up to enforce Europe's common data protection rules," she said
in an emailed comment.
"I am confident that the European
Parliament and the EU member states will strengthen Europe's
tools substantially in the course of this year."
Still, the news took little toll on Google's shares, which in mid-day
New York trading were 1.12 percent higher at $810.15, while the Nasdaq
index of technology shares was up by 1.04 percent overall.