Europe turns up heat on Google over privacy
POSTED: Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - 3:00am
UPDATED: Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - 3:04am
LONDON (CNNMoney) — European Union authorities are preparing to take action against Google by the summer unless the company moves to allay concerns about privacy of user data.
At issue: Google's efforts to combine data from multiple services.
Critics say the primary purpose was to allow Google to sell online advertising more effectively, and that the bundling of data would threaten the privacy of individual users.
"In this context, the EU data protection authorities are committed to act and continue their investigations," CNIL said in a statement.
Last October, following the CNIL inquiry, data regulators from the European Union's 27 member states gave Google until Monday to adapt the policy.
They said the company should help users understand what happens to their personal information, give them more control over combining data from different services and avoid collecting excessive amounts.
CNIL said the European working group would decide how to proceed at its next meeting on Feb. 26. CNIL fined Google 100,000 euros in 2011 for recording data from Wi-Fi networks while gathering images for its Street View service.
Google is still waiting for the outcome of a separate three year EU anti-trust probe into its search business, despite being cleared last month in a similar investigation by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.