Germany tells Google to restrict use of data

Published: Mon, 29 Sep 2014 by Rad

A German data protection watchdog told Google Inc to seek users' permission for creating data profiles from its various services, adding to pressure on the U.S. technology giant in Europe over its privacy policy. Commissioner Johannes Caspar said that Google previously had refused to grant users more control over how it aggregates data across its services including Gmail, smartphones operating system Android and the web search engine.

Google is ordered to take the necessary technical and organisational measures to guarantee that their users can decide on their own if and to what extend their data is used for profiling,

European data privacy regulators last week handed the U.S. group a package of guidelines to help it bring the way it collects and stores user data in line with EU law.

Regulators in six European countries, Italy, France, Spain, Germany, Britain and the Netherlands, have opened investigations into Google after it consolidated its 60 privacy policies into one and started combining data collected on individual users across its services, including YouTube, Gmail and Google Maps.

Google privacy ethics in Europe

Google’s advisory council held its first two public consultations on 9 and 10 September in Madrid and Rome, inviting regulators, publishers and academics to discuss the outcome of the recent “right to be forgotten ruling” made by the European court of justice. One of 10 people on the council, Luciano Floridi is documenting the trip.

When is it appropriate for a search engine to provide a link to truthful information about a person that a third-party has legitimately published online? And what is the best way of dealing with each request to remove from search results a link that refers to such information?

Because the debate is complex, almost everybody in Madrid and in Rome thought that it requires a balancing act. However, the superficial agreement on the need for balance probably hides a deeper disagreement on what kind of balance may be needed.

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