A data protection group for the European Union has voiced its concern about the way Google stores the search information of its users.The advisory group has written to the internet giant warning that it may be breaking European privacy laws by holding people’s search details on its servers for up to two years.
“We believe it’s an important part of our commitment to respect user privacy while balancing a number of important factors, such as maintaining security and preventing fraud and abuse,” said Peter Fleischer, Google’s global privacy counsel.
"We are committed to engaging in a constructive dialogue with privacy stakeholders, including the privacy advisory group, on how to improve privacy practices for the benefit of Google users and for everyone on the internet," he added.
Pietro Petrucci, a spokesperson for the EU, said: “This group has addressed a letter to Google raising a number of questions. He [Franco Frattini, Justice Commissioner for the EU] considers those questions raised by the letter to be appropriate and legitimate.”
A spokesperson for Google said the company would respond to the EU’s worries before the next board meeting at the end of June.
Earlier this year the California-based firm said it would anonymise user information after 18 to 24 months. However, privacy groups remain concerned about the way that the data is used to examine people’s online behaviour.