French Ouroboros on Data Privacy

Ouroboros is a serpent that eats its tail.  Check this 2 recent news about data privacy in France:

1. Last week Google has been fined by France on data privacy violation (keeping e-mails and other personal data), as stated by Google News in Daily Motion

Google Inc. (GOOG) opened higher and is up near 3% in the market rally and powering through reports it has been fined in France for violating privacy laws. The company illegally collected personal data while shooting scenes for its Street View feature on Google Earth. France’s privacy watchdog fined the Internet behemoth $141,300 (100,000 euros) for collecting e-mails, web browsing histories, online banking information and other personal data from WiFi networks during a period from 2007 to 2010. The fine is Google’s first in the controversy and the largest ever levied by the agency. Google is facing complaints in more than 30 countries, and has apologized for its actions. It said the data is being deleted.

2. But 2 weeks ago, we learned that Google and other companies took France to court (April 5 2011) because they are forced by the new French regulation to keep users personal data:

More than twenty companies including Google Facebook and eBay will tomorrow file a complaint with France’s State Council, officially declaring their opposition to a ruling that requires them to keep data on web users for over a year.

The AFP reports that other companies operating in the country, including video website Dailymotion and marketplace PriceMinister, will bring a case before France’s highest judical body, a representative from the French Association of Internet Community Services (ASIC) said on earlier today.

ASIC head Benoit Tabaka told the press that it is “appealing at the State Council against the decree to keep connection data,” complaining that the decree, published at the beginning of March, would require e-commerce, video and email websites to keep an array of data on their customers.

This data includes:

“Full names, associated postal address, pseudonyms, associated email addresses, telephone number, passwords and data used to check or modify them.”

Facebook and the other companies must keep data for 12 months, relinquishing it to French authorities should it be demanded.

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