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EU regulators irked by Google's silence on privacy policy investigation

European officials have criticised Google for not responding to their privacy-related inquiries in a timely fashion.

As a result, France's CNIL (Commission nationale de l'informatique et des libertés) - which is representing the European Commission's Article 29 Working Party - said that it would set up a working group that would examine the search giant's policies.

That group should be in place by summer. The CNIL said it will submit its proposal at the next Article 29 Working Party plenary session on 26 February.

In a statement, a Google spokeswoman said "our privacy policy respects European law and allows us to create simpler, more effective services. We have engaged fully with the CNIL throughout this process, and we'll continue to do so going forward."

The CNIL's battle with Google goes back almost a year. At issue is an update to Google's privacy policy that went into effect on 1 March, 2012. The revamp consolidated 70 or so privacy policies across Google's products down to one. But with this change, Google also switched to one profile for users across all services rather than separate logs for offerings like YouTube, Search, and Blogger.

It's that account consolidation bit that had privacy advocates up in arms. In early-February 2012, the Article 29 Working Party asked Google to "pause" its privacy policy update, but Google declined.

The CNIL responded by asking Google for more details about its plan, and Google submitted its answers in April of last year. The CNIL said that response was incomplete and issued several recommendations in October 2012 that covered how Google might improve its privacy policies. Google has not yet responded to those recommendations, prompting today's statement.