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EU regulators tell Google to amend privacy policy

But European Union officials stop short of calling for massive changes to the new policy.

European Union privacy regulators are giving Google four months to amend its privacy policy to address issues that could violate member countries' laws.

Reuters reports that France's Commission Nationale de l'Informatique, representing the EU's 27 national data regulators, has made 12 recommendations for Google to bring its privacy policy into line with European law.

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Google should better inform users on how their data will be used and set more precise limits on how long data will be retained, among other recommendations. But in good news for Google, the commission stopped short of calling for wholesale revisions to the policy, or demanding that Google create new ways for users to opt out of data collection and retention.

"The new privacy policy allows an unprecedented combination of data across different Google services," Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin, chairwoman of the French data-protection authority, said at a news conference in Paris, according to a New York Times report. "We are not opposed to this, in principle, but the data could be employed in ways that the user is not aware of."

Google's global privacy counsel told Reuters the company would examine the recommendations but was confident Google is not violating EU law.

If found to be violating users' privacy, Google could face fines. It was previously fined when its Street View cars, which provide data for Google Maps, were discovered to have collected unauthorized data using public Wi-Fi networks.

In March, Google changed privacy practices across its network of services, consolidating 60 separate policies into one. The new policy allows data to be collected on users across a wide range of Google services for advertising targeting purposes.