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Google: Privacy policy will take effect as planned

2/29/2012

Google announced it will not delay the planned March 1 rollout of its new privacy policy, despite an outcry from critics in the United States and abroad.

Google eliminated more than 60 separate privacy policy and terms of use agreements in favor of a single privacy policy that will govern many of its products; the company argues this will enable it to provide a more customized and therefore rewarding user experience, integrating personalized options across such services as Gmail, YouTube and Android mobile phones.

Critics of the change say that it illegally streamlines Google's process of tracking user information. The Electronic Privacy Information Center sued to block the privacy policy change, but a federal judge dismissed the case. French government officials asked Google to delay implementation of the change, saying it violates data protection standards set by France's National Commission for Computing and Civil Liberties.

Google refused to delay. In a letter to the French commission, Google executive Peter Fleischer described the new policy as "simple, clear and transparent," and fully compliant with European Union rules.

After endorsing a recently announced White House initiative to bolster online privacy, Google said it will incorporate a "Do Not Track" button on its Chrome browser by the end of 2012.