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Fifth of websites lack privacy protection info

A fifth of the world's websites and mobile telephone applications provide no information on how, or if, they protect users' personal data, a French watchdog said Tuesday. In collaboration with 19 other countries, France's national data protection agency Cnil in May conducted an audit of more than 2,000 of the world's most popular websites and apps to evaluate how they inform users of their data collection practices.

Japan officials use public settings on Google Groups

Japan's bureaucrats used the wrong privacy settings for Google Groups online discussions, allowing anyone to see internal memos including on negotiating positions for an international treaty, the government said Wednesday. Environment ministry mandarins were among those who used the default settings on Google Groups, which allow public access to discussion threads, instead of limiting them to members only.

Some health websites share user search terms: study

By Genevra Pittman NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Some health media websites share users' search terms with outside companies that track consumers and target advertising, according to a new study. Dr. Marco Huesch, from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, used interception software and found seven out of 20 popular health sites passed search information to third parties.

Twitter tunes ad targeting system

Twitter on Wednesday said it will begin letting businesses target marketing messages to people who have shown interests in what they have to offer. "Users won't see more ads on Twitter, but they may see better ones," senior director of product revenue Kevin Weil said in a blog post. The feature to be tested in the United States will let shops share email addresses or identity information from software 'cookies' in Web browsers so that Twitter can pinpoint people interested in ads from those businesses.

UK regulator orders Google to delete personal data scooped up in Street View project

LONDON - Britain's data regulator has ordered Google to delete personal data scooped up in its Street View project — or face contempt of court. The Information Commissioner's Office on Friday served Google Inc. with an enforcement notice. Google now has 35 days to kill material hoovered up in the project that featured camera-toting vehicles shooting images of the world's streets.

France gives Google three month deadline over privacy policy

France on Thursday threatened Google with a fine of up to 150,000 euros ($198,000) if it does not bring its privacy procedures into line with French law on data protection within three months. In a move that France hopes will be followed by other European states, the national data protection agency Cnil said the US Internet giant had failed to provide it with sufficient assurances about the storing and use of data it obtains from users. "The information received in respect to this have so far been too imprecise or vague," Cnil President Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin told AFP.

School database loses backers as parents balk over privacy

By Stephanie Simon (Reuters) - A $100 million database set up to store extensive records on millions of public school students has stumbled badly since its launch this spring, with officials in several states backing away from the project amid protests from irate parents.

New bill to allow Alberta police, schools to share information to aid children

EDMONTON - Alberta is proposing new legislation that would encourage police, social agencies and schools to share information as a way to help struggling children. Human Services Minister Dave Hancock says they can already share details in most cases, but they tend not to for fear they might violate privacy laws. Hancock says everyone needs to work together to help children whose difficult home lives may be causing problems in classrooms or with the law. The bill also proposes changes to other legislation to assist agencies helping kids in need.

Germany fines Google for privacy violations

German authorities said Monday they had fined Google for illegally collecting massive amounts of personal data including emails, passwords and photos while setting up its disputed Street View service. The data protection office in the northern city of Hamburg said it had slapped the US Internet giant with a 145,000-euro ($189,000) penalty for privacy violations on what it called a nearly unprecedented scale.

6 European countries challenge Google on privacy

Paris, Apr 2 (EFE).- Agencies in six European nations will take legal action against Internet giant Google for failing to rectify problems with its privacy policy, France's National Commission on Information Technology and Freedom, known as CNIL, said Tuesday. Last October, CNIL and its counterparts in Britain, the Netherlands, Germany, Spain and Italy gave Google four months to bring its practices into line with the relevant European Union directives.
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