Well, really, it’s 68 questions and an offer for additional remarks. But they are very specific and aimed at interrogating some of the actions that Google claims it feels are necessary to operate (you can see the full list on CNIL’s website.)
Why? You’ll remember that CNIL previously questioned the legality of Google’s recent privacy changes, which came into force at the beginning of March. Under the new rules, users who want to use one Google service cannot opt out of having their information used by all Google services — something that generated plenty of concern at the time.
The watchdog says Google should respond by April 5, which gives the company another two and a half weeks to get its lawyers on the case.
So what is Europe asking now, exactly?
Really, the several dozen questions boil down to a few major topics — basically probing what data Google collects, why, and what the real impact of the new rules is likely to be. There is also plenty of effort in trying to unpick some of the language that Google uses,
Here are the big issues, as I see it:
There are plenty of sub-questions inside each of these, but really the legalese used by CNIL is an attempt to clarify the specifics and prevent Google from finding much wriggle room.
It would, of course, be much easier if Europe could ask — or, more accurately, if Google would answer — the single question that runs underneath all of these ones. Why change your privacy policies like this? But the world is never simple, especially not when profit is involved.