Google refuses EU data protection authorities’ request for a pause in the implementation of new privacy policy

The Article 29 Data Protection Working Party, a group of 27 national data protection and privacy authorities that advises the European Commission on privacy issues, has written to Google Inc. to ask for a pause in the implementation of Google’s new privacy policy while the group checks for possible consequences for Google’s users in the European Union.

The Data Protection Party writes to Google that it wishes to “check the possible consequences for the protection of the personal data of [EU] citizens”.

The request comes after Google announced that it will be replacing its privacy policy with a new one that is to come into effect on 1 March 2012. The new policy will be applicable across all Google services that harvest user data (including Google+, Google Maps, YouTube and the Chrome web browser).

In its response to the EU data protection authorities, Google writes that its new privacy policy is the unification of different privacy policies currently in place across Google services. The unification of different privacy policies will mean a policy that will be simpler and more understandable for users, but will not not change existing privacy settings and will not collect any new or additional data, says Google.

While Google is willing to answer any questions that EU data protection authorities might have, it will not delay the implementation of its new privacy rules, writes Google’s Global Privacy Counselor, adding that Google had “extensively pre-briefed data protection authorities across the EU”, and that at no stage did any EU regulator indicate a problem with the privacy overhaul.

The  Article 29 Data Protection Working Party is yet to respond to Google’s refusal to comply with its request.

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