France orders Google to comply with Data Protection Act

Five more European nations likely to initiate similar action against Google soon.

New Statesman
Photograph: Getty Images.

France has ordered Google to change its policy regarding how it uses internet users’ personal data within three months in order to avoid sanctions.

Five more European countries - Spain, the UK, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands, will  also soon take a decision on initiating similar action against the search engine giant.

Commission nationale de l'informatique et des libertés (CNIL) - the national commission for computing and civil liberties - instructed the search engine giant to implement  the measures of the French Data Protection Act.

The French watchdog, in its probe, said that Google has been violating the data laws that restrict usage of individuals’ personal data.

According to the commission, Google didn’t implement the measures that were suggested after a probe in October 2012.

CNIL said its Select Committee may issue a sanction against Google if it fails to comply with the requirements by end of the time limit.

CNIL has instructed Google to inform its users on how it processes their personal data, define retention periods for the personal data processed, and obtain their permission before storing cookies in terminal.

Google was also warned by CNIL not to proceed with the potentially unlimited combination of users’ data without legal basis, as well as, to be fair in collecting and processing passive users’ data.

The joint investigation led by CNIL was supported by data protection authorities of Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK.