On the eve of a meeting of the EU national privacy regulators (the Article 29 Working Party) in Brussels, a new survey suggests that two-thirds of UK users believe that more should be done to force Google to comply with European data protection laws.
The Article 29 Working Party comprises representatives from each of the EU member states’ national data protection regulatory authorities – such as the ICO in the UK, CNIL in France, and the Office of the Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information in Germany.
That four month period has expired, and the French authority, CNIL, has said that no satisfactory response has been received from Google. Consequently, CNIL (which is leading the group’s action against Google) will be submitting an action plan to tomorrow’s Article 29 meeting in Brussels to co-ordinate next steps against the search giant.
Companies that collect personal data usually justify the action by claiming it will allow them to enhance the user experience. The survey suggests, however, that most users reject this argument: only 18% of respondents accepted the premise. “People increasingly feel their interests and privacy are being ignored by large companies and advertisers motivated by profit,” said Pickles. “Google’s business is dependent on collecting more data about us and our online identities, but consumers do not trust that either Google or regulators take their privacy and wider concerns seriously enough.”