Ten nations criticise Google on privacy

Privacy commissioners from nations including the UK, Germany, and Canada, criticise violations of Go

Privacy commissioners from ten nations, including the UK, Germany and Canada, have sent a letter to Google stating that it failed to take adequate privacy considerations into account while launching its social networking tool Google Buzz.

The letter asks Google to set out how it plans to ensure privacy and data protection requirements in the future, but does not threaten legal action against the company.

The letter says: "While your company addressed the most privacy-intrusive aspects of Google Buzz in the wake of this public protest and most recently you asked all users to reconfirm their privacy settings, we remain extremely concerned about how a product with such significant privacy issues was launched in the first place. We would have expected a company of your stature to set a better example."

It also states that Google Street View, the technology used in Google Maps and Google Earth, was launched in some countries without considering privacy and data protection laws and cultural norms.

France, Ireland, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Spain were also signatories to the letter.