European Union Questions Google’s Data Retention Policy

Google may be violating EU privacy laws on user search data from Bloomberg reports that the European Union has finally sent Google an expected letter raising concerns over Google’s data retention policies.

The EU wants Google to explain why they must keep search data for two years. The main concern is that this data can be used to track back to individual people.

Danny posted last month that this letter was likely to come and provides a little background about the issue, including how a rival EU policy requires data to be kept for a long period of time.

EU Justice Commissioner Franco Frattini is quoted as supporting this investigation and that “he considers those questions raised by the letter to be appropriate and legitimate.”

For Google’s part, the article says:

Google’s Fleischer said in a May 22 e-mail that the company will reply before the next meeting of the advisory group, called the Article 29 Data Protection Working Party, in June.

“We are committed to engaging in a constructive dialogue with privacy stakeholders, including the Article 29 Working Party, on how to improve privacy practices for the benefit of Google users and for everyone on the Internet,” Fleischer said.

I will postscript this post when and if I find a copy of this letter. The EU group behind it has yet to post any information about it on here.

Related Topics: Channel: Industry | Google: Critics | Google: Legal | Legal: Privacy

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About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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