French Watchdog Still Barking at Google Over Privacy Fears

France's national information watchdog, the "Commission Nationale de l'Informatique et des Libertés" or CNIL, is again interrogating Google over its data storage practices.

The regulator, acting on behalf of the EU's Article 29 Working Party, has indicated that it is not satisfied with a number of the search giant's initial responses to the 69 questions it posed earlier this year, describing 31 of the company's answers as "incomplete or approximate."

Google now has until the 8th of June to clarify the necessary points. The watchdog explained why it is still pursuing this stage of the inquiry on its website yesterday, highlighting a number of points as ongoing concerns.

"The CNIL considers it impossible to know Google's processings of personal data and notes that Google that has not provided a maximum retention period for the data. The CNIL would also like to clarify the actual effects of Google's opt-out mechanism," it said.

"Finally, Google has not provided a practical answer on the way the ePrivacy Directive is applied for Google's "passive users", i.e. the persons who use Google's services (advertising, analytics, +1 button) when they visit third-party websites," it added.

The CNIL met with Google representatives on Wednesday, but neither side has revealed the outcome of the discussions.

Google's relationship with Europe's second largest country is tempestuous at the best of times with privacy the recurring issue - the company has been fined by the French watchdog before and sued by an individual who was caught peeing on one of its cameras. It has also been penalised closer to home by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission.

The initial decision to query the motives of Mountain View's executive corridors came as a result of the company's decision to merge the privacy policies of its individual services into the single, catch-all TOS document that took effect in March. At this point, concerns were raised on the Continent by the Article 29 Working Party that Google's new policy did not comply fully with the European data protection act.

Source: The Register