Thursday, May 31, 2007

Google faces EU Regulation?

FInally today (honest), the Art 29 WP has issued a significant letter criticising Google's privacy protection of personal data. Google is now to be the subject of an Art 29 report.

Google's recent olive branch of increasing privacy protection by anonymising server logs older than 18-24 months old is dismissed as insufficient data minimisation for EU law. In particular the 30 year duration of a Google cookie (!) is mentioned as disproportionate.

Interesting to compare our cousins over the pond.. where this blogger is suggesting that Google can be seen as the Transparent Society in action. Since everyone, including commerce and the state already collects far more data about us than we know of or can control, isn't a way to fight back to have all that data openly available to everyone not just the state - as collected by a private and semi neutral organisation, ie Google?

"On the one side is that massive data integration by the State - and if you think you'll see much data from that, you'll be waiting a long time. On the flip side all the other data, just put out there for people to use. The State's default mode is to hide everything, Google's is to put it out there for everyone to use.

I know which society I'd prefer to live in."

I don't agree, at all, but it's an interesting angle. Especially in the age of the shadow of the ID database..

Back at market regulation, Web 2.0 is already beginning to provide us with companies whose business model is to allow you to track down what data people hold about you (a right you have in law under DP but how the hell do you do it in aggregate in practice) - try looking at Garlik for example.

ps More from the Beeb on this with an emphasis on Google's recent acquisition of DoubleClick.

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