Internet: Brake on ACTA, Google reprimanded
2 March 2012
The Guardian, El País
Europe’s institutions appear intent on becoming fully fledged guardians of Internet user privacy. First up in the line of fire: ACTA and Google. "European Parliament puts brake on international anti-piracy accord”, headlines El País, which reports that a petition signed by 2.5 million European citizens has been submitted to MEPs. The Madrid daily believes that it will take “at least a year” for ACTA to be ratified –
The European Parliament, which is not convinced that the text pays sufficient heed to the rights of citizens, has decided that it should be examined by European judges. MEPs are in agreement with the basic tenets of the trade agreement [...] but are wary of the consequences of its application.
El País notes that the debate which will precede a vote in parliament on 12 March will focus on -
… the bid to make Internet service providers responsible for we content, which opponents of the deal argue would open the door to digital censorship.
At the same time, The Guardian reports that European Commissioner for Justice Viviane Reding has fired a warning shot at Google “sneaking citizens’ privacy away”. Criticism has been increasingly vocal since the launch of Google’s new policy on 1st March. The Guardian writes that the French data protection agency, the Commission nationale de l'informatique et des libertés, has already addressed a letter to the search engine giant to warn that its new rules on privacy are no longer in compliance with the requirements of the  European directive on data protection -
While they simplify the joining process for new users, the changes also mean that Google can pool data about signed-in users' web or video searches, map directions, web browsing, which ads have been clicked, and other information in order to target adverts and services at people using the web.