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Data Protection Commission

Commissioner welcomes positive privacy announcement by Google

The Data Protection Commissioner, Billy Hawkes today  welcomed the announcement made by Google responding to concerns raised about the privacy rights of its users. 

He indicated, "Google has very extensive information in relation to the use made of its services and this announcement demonstrates its commitment to ensuring that privacy issues are a key focus.  Reducing further (to 9 months) the retention period for the logs created of every search made by users is an important step.  The extensive information being provided by Google about its data collection policies is also welcome, as is the prominent placing of its privacy policy."

He added, "The actions taken by Google address some of the important privacy issues raised in the Opinion on Search Engines issued earlier this year by the "Article 29" Working Party of European Data Protection Authorities". http://ec.europa.eu/justice_home/fsj/privacy/docs/wpdocs/2008/wp148_en.pdf

As Google's European headquarters is located in Ireland, the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner has been engaged in an in-depth and constructive dialogue with Google on the implications of the Opinion for its European operations.  This dialogue has allowed for an enhanced understanding of the challenges faced by Google in offering an important global service that also complies with local laws.  Equally it has also allowed Google to be better informed in relation to the specific privacy issues underlying the Opinion.  In this respect, the Commissioner indicated, " it is important that this dialogue continue with us and with other data protection authorities.   We will continue to work with Google to assist it in meeting its objective of operating in full compliance with European data protection law."


For Further Information etc:

Contact: Lisa McGann  057 868 4800
Email: lmcgann@dataprotection.ie