EU probes Google over privacy

London, March 1: European Union authorities will probe Google’s new privacy rules that came into force Thursday, with France arguing the sweeping changes breach European law, the Guardian newspaper reported.

France’s data protection watchdog, the CNIL, told Google in a letter Feb 27 that it will lead a Europe-wide probe of the policy.

The policy involves Google pooling the data on individual users gathered via any of its sites – search, YouTube, Gmail, Google+ and others – allowing it to tailor search results, target users with advertising and make other uses of the information.

Users cannot opt out of the new policy if they want to continue using Google’s services.

The tussle over data privacy comes at a delicate time for Google, whose business model has become to give away free search, email and other services while making money by selling user-targeted advertising.

It is already being investigated by the EU’s competition authority and the US Federal Trade Commission over how it ranks search results and whether it favours its own products over those of rivals, the newspaper added.