68% worried about online security run by Google

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THE majority of Britons are concerned about their online privacy and back an investigation into internet giant Google’s data policies, campaigners will say today.

A survey by privacy campaign group Big Brother Watch found that 68 per cent of respondents are concerned about online privacy with nearly a quarter “very concerned”.

More than seven in ten of respondents said European data watchdogs were right to investigate the company’s privacy policy, which allows the search engine to pool user data from all its services ranging from YouTube to Gmail.

The majority – 66 per cent – of the public said national regulators should be doing more to force Google to comply with existing European directives on privacy.

Big Brother Watch director Nick Pickles said: “The message from consumers is clear: regulators were right to investigate Google’s new privacy policy and now they need to do more to force the company to comply with the law.”

Launched in March last year, Google’s new privacy policy merged around 60 product policies with users unable to opt-out. However, data protection authorities were concerned and European regulators launched an investigation.

Google was ultimately given four months to change its approach with 12 “practical recommendations” published by the group of regulators. However, last week the French authority leading the investigation – CNIL – said “Google did not provide any precise and effective answers” and regulators will now meet on 26 February to discuss how to proceed.

A Google spokesman said: “Our privacy policy allows us to create simpler, more effective services and we have engaged fully with the CNIL throughout this process.”