France To Sanction Google Over Privacy Rules

France against Romania, Bulgaria joining Schengen zone

It had also requested that the US giant obtain users’ permission before storing cookies on their computers, referring to files that track netizens and allow companies to target them with tailored commercials. “On the last day of this (three-month) period, Google responded to the CNIL. Google contests the reasoning of the CNIL and has not complied with the requests laid down in the enforcement notice,” the watchdog said in a written statement. “In this context, the Chair of the CNIL will now designate a rapporteur for the purpose of initiating a formal procedure for imposing sanctions.” In its response, Google made no mention of any challenge to CNIL’s reasoning and maintained it respects European law. Privacy policy “Our privacy policy respects European law and allows us to create simpler, more effective services. We have engaged fully with CNIL throughout this process and will continue to do so going forward,” Google spokesman Al Verney said, according to AP news agency. France’s move follows Google’s introduction last year of a new privacy policy which enables it to track user activity across its search engine, Gmail, the Google+ social networking platform and other services it owns, which include YouTube. The changes make it easier for Google to collect and process data that could be used by advertisers to target individuals with offers tailored to their specific interest, thereby increasing the company’s revenue potential. Google has defended the changes it made last year on the ground that they simplify and standardise its approach across its various services. But critics argue that the policy, which offers no ability to opt out aside from refraining from signing into Google services, gives the operator of the world’s largest search engine unprecedented ability to monitor its users. While always on the agenda, the issue of data protection took on an extra dimension when Snowden’s revelations were published in June. Under PRISM, the National Security Agency can issue directives to Internet firms demanding access to emails, online chats, pictures, files, videos and more.

Credit: Reuters/Brendan McDermid PARIS | Mon Sep 30, 2013 4:46am EDT PARIS (Reuters) – France is not in favour of allowing Romania and Bulgaria into Europe’s passport-free Schengen zone for now due to concerns about border security, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Monday. “If there is not a change in conditions, we won’t be in favour,” Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said of a forthcoming European Union decision on whether to grant passport-free movement to these citizens beginning January 1, 2014. His comments came amid fierce debate within France’s ruling coalition over the treatment of the Roma population. Some 20,000 Roma migrants from Romania and Bulgaria live in hundreds of squalid make-shift camps on the outskirts of French cities. Tensions with local communities have made Roma migration a contentious issue ahead of municipal elections next year. Romanian and Bulgarian citizens currently have the right to travel with a passport throughout the Schengen zone, which removes border controls among most EU countries as well as non-members such as Switzerland and Norway. Temporary restrictions that imposed passport checks were put in place when the two countries joined the EU in 2007, and are due to be lifted in January. But each EU country has the right to veto the admission of a member state into the Schengen zone and a vote is expected before the end of the year. Germany said in March that it too opposed the entry of the two countries into the zone. Fabius said France was concerned about the ability of Romanian and Bulgarian authorities to ensure border security. “People coming from outside Europe could enter Romania and Bulgaria and then freely enter the rest of Europe,” Fabius told France Inter radio. “There’s a problem there, we must be sure that Bulgaria and Romania have the means to verify that.