Google and privacy: 6 E.U. countries take action

Apr 02, 2013, 7:27 AM EDT
A visitor passes the Google logo next to an image of local monuments of the Brandenburg Gate and the Fernsehturm (TV tower) on September 26, 2012 in Berlin, Germany.
Getty Images/Adam Berry

PARIS (AP) — Regulators in Google's largest European markets are taking joint action to try and force the company to overhaul its privacy policy.

Led by France, organizations in Britain, the Netherlands, Germany, Spain and Italy agreed Tuesday on the joint action.

The regulators claim Google has failed to make concrete changes to its privacy policy, leaving customers in the dark about the information the company has about them and how long it is kept. Last year the company merged 60 separate privacy policies into one universal procedure.

Officials from Google Inc. have said the policy was a necessary — and legal — streamlining.

Privacy experts say Google's ability to gather and combine user data is key for the company, whose search engine has about 95 percent market penetration in Europe.

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