Google has recently expanded in France, having made Paris the new headquarters for much of their international business. The internet mogul, however, has already ruffled some feathers among European authorities. CNIL has fined Google 100,000 euros in 2011 for issues with Street View photos infringing on privacy. Last month the company made headlines again when a Frenchman sued Google for including Street View photos of the man urinating in his garden.
Now Google has angered not just one individual, but the European Union. In order to consolidate their privacy policies across their services, the company has launched one comprehensive policy that covers 60 of its sites, including Gmail and YouTube. The move will allow more precision tracking of users’ information and habits, supposedly leading to easier targeting for advertisers. Unable to limit or opt out of the tracking, web users have no say in the matter, stirring up controversy among watchdog groups and authorities.
In her letter, Falque-Pierrotin told Google that a questionnaire will be sent on behalf of CNIL by mid-March. Google has acknowledged the letter, but moved ahead anyway with its new policy as of March 1 with no word yet on how the EU may respond.
Photo: Flickr Marcin Wichary