Norway Investigates Google on Privacy

Pandia Search Engine News reports that the Norwegian Data Inspectorate, whose role is to protect persons from violation of their right to privacy through the processing of personal data, is investigating Google’s information collecting practices. From Pandia’s report:

“Why do the search engine store the IP addresses [of searchers] for so long and are they using them for?” Senior Engineer Atle Årnes of the Inspectorate asks in the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten.

“Even if the search engines cannot identify the person behind every IP address, people do leave behind their names and other personal information that make it possible to track who they are,” he continues.

Google’s privacy expert Peter Fleischer has come to Oslo to meet the Directorate.

He says to Aftenposten that Google does not know the persons behind the IP numbers, and that the company is not willing to give such information to others. The only exception, according to Fleischer, are court orders or rulings in countries with a trustworthy judicial system.

If the same policy applies in the US, then Google must demand a court order before turning over the identities of YouTube users to Fox, who is hunting copyright infringers.

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