EU hits Google for holding onto data for too long

Summary:Google is sitting on a gold mine of data on its customers - compiled by keeping records of searches, emails and other user data - and this has the European Union worried. So worried that the EU's data protection advisory group sent a letter to Google suggesting the company was keeping was keeping information on users' searches for too long, reports Reuters.

Google is sitting on a gold mine of data on its customers - compiled by keeping records of searches, emails and other user data - and this has the European Union worried. So worried that the EU's data protection advisory group sent a letter to Google suggesting the company was keeping was keeping information on users' searches for too long, reports Reuters.

"The concern of EU law is that a company that collects data on its customers should keep it as long as it is necessary, but not longer," Peter Fleischer, Google's global privacy counsel, told Reuters in a telephone interview.

Google collects data that a market research company would kill for. Information on customer's tastes, interests and beliefs is worth a lot of money but Google says it never gives out any of that information.

he company says that it needs to hold onto users' search data for up to two years for security and commercial reasons though it may be violating European privacy laws.

Google last week received a letter from the Article 29 working party, a group of national advisory bodies that counsels the EU on privacy policy, which asked the company to justify its data retention practices.

"I will tell the working party that Google needs to hold on to its log database to protect itself and the system from attacks and refine and improve the effectiveness of our search results," Fleischer said.

Topics: Google, Government, Government : UK, Government : US

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