Congress and the EU are Fighting to Change Google's Privacy Policy

Google's new privacy policy has already caused a stir among users. Now, Congress and EU regulators are sniffing around the changes and aren't happy about them — but Google doesn't seem to care in the slightest.

According to The Hill, house lawmakers questioned Google representatives for two hours yesterday about the changes, but they still aren't satisfied with the company's explanations. Speaking to The Hill, Representative Mary Bono Mack said:

"By being more simple, [the privacy policy] is actually more complicated... At the end of the day, I don't think their answers to us were very forthcoming necessarily in what this really means for the safety of our families and our children."

Apparently Congress is concerned about how much involvement users have in protecting their own privacy, but Google's answers didn't satisfy when it came to deletion and long-term storage of user data. "There's a growing angst in the Congress about privacy — there's no question," added Mack.

Elsewhere, EU regulators are asking Google to delay the privacy policy roll out, according to Reuters. "Given the wide range of services you offer, and the popularity of these services, changes in your privacy policy may affect many citizens in most or all of the EU member states," the EU's Data Protection Working Party wrote in a letter to Larry Page yesterday. "We wish to check the possible consequences for the protection of the personal data of these citizens in a coordinated way." They didn't say how long they needed, but then, who knows if Google will even agree.

All told, Google is making a lot of enemies over their change in privacy policy and at this rate the negative reaction shows only signs of growing. Even though Google is a private company, which means in theory it can do whatever it damn well pleases so long as it's legal, there may come a point where the opposition feel they need to stand their ground. If that results in national governments squaring up to Google, we could be in for one hell of a show. [The Hill and Reuters; Image: AP]