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European privacy regulators are likely to increase pressure on Google to improve its data protection measures after indicating that the internet search company’s latest efforts were “not enough”.
“The main problems we have raised have not all been solved and there is still room for discussion on this,” said the office of the German federal commissioner for data protection and freedom of information, which has headed the European Union’s examination of Google’s data policies.
EU privacy officials are concerned about Google’s practice of keeping information on individuals’ internet searches and “cookies” – identifier programs on computers – saying the data could be used to identify individuals or create profiles of their private preferences.
Last week, Google offered to reduce the amount of time it keeps search data from two years to 18 months and to set cookies to expire after two, rather than 30, years.
At the same time, however, Peter Fleischer, Google’s privacy counsel, appeared to draw a line under any further concessions, saying the company was unwilling to cut storage time any more.