In Germany, Hamburg's Commissioner for Data Privacy and Freedom of Information said it will review the way in which Google processes users' data. Although Google seeks their consent, it is impossible for users to foresee the scope of this consent, Commissioner Johannes Caspar warned in a news release.
Analyses compiled by CNIL raise questions about the legality of Google's processing of personal data, Caspar said.
The six countries will now take a close look at Google's compliance with the law. "Should the data protection concerns be confirmed, appropriate supervisory measures may be taken in the individual member states," he said.
The French National Commission on Computing and Liberty (CNIL) said it has notified Google of the initiation of an inspection procedure.
The Dutch data protection authority was similarly circumspect: "We are starting an investigation," said spokeswoman Lysette Rutgers, adding that her organization never comments on the content of any investigation.
CNIL published a report on Oct. 26 giving Google four months to comply with its recommendations. It failed to make any significant changes within that period, CNIL said Tuesday, and it is now up to the E.U.'s individual member states to take appropriate action based on its report.
(Loek Essers in Amsterdam contributed to this report.)
Peter Sayer covers open source software, European intellectual property legislation and general technology breaking news for IDG News Service. Send comments and news tips to Peter at [email protected].