Major Web players take France to court

Major Web players take France to court

Summary: Google and Facebook among Internet giants that are planning legal action against French government over data policy forcing these companies to retain users' personal information for a year.

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Google and Facebook are among a group of companies that are planning to file a complaint with France's State Council, the country's highest judicial body, against a local law that mandates these companies retain users' personal data for a year.

According to a BBC report Wednesday, the directive, which was passed in early-March, requires e-commerce sites and those offering services such as videos, music and e-mail services, to keep a range of their users' personal information, including full names, postal addresses, e-mail addresses and passwords. Such data will need to be handled to French authorities, including the police and tax and social security agencies, when requested.

Apart from Google and Facebook, over 20 Web companies with operations in France including eBay and Dailymotion will be involved in the State Council case, said their representative French Association of Internet Community Services (ASIC).

BBC quoted ASIC head, Benoit Tabaka, to describe the data law as unnecessarily draconian. Tabaka added that it was passed without consultation with the European Commission, and warned that the mandate for these Web sites to collect and retain passwords could have security implications.

ASIC will be filing the legal complaint this week, with the aim to see the French law repealed.

Topics: IT Employment, Legal, Privacy

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