Google, Facebook take France to court over privacy

Apr 05, 2011
Internet heavyweights including Google and Facebook are to file a complaint with France's highest judicial body against a decree obliging them to keep web users' personal data for a year.

Internet heavyweights including Google and Facebook are to file a complaint with France's highest judicial body against a decree obliging them to keep web users' personal data for a year.

More than 20 Internet companies active in France, including Dailymotion and eBay, are bringing the case before the State Council, their representative French Association of Internet Community Services (ASIC) said on Tuesday.

"The ASIC is appealing at the State Council against the decree to keep connection data," ASIC head Benoit Tabaka told reporters.

The decree, published at the start of March, obliges e-commerce sites as well as video-music sites and online email services to keep a battery of data on their customers.

These include users' full names, associated postal address, pseudonyms, associated email addresses, telephone number, passwords and data used to check or modify them.

The data must be kept for a year and can be demanded in the context of an enquiry by police, the fraud office, customs, tax or social security authorities.

ASIC will lodge the complaint on Wednesday morning, Tabaka said.

"Several elements are problematic. For instance, there was no consultation with the ," he said.

"This is a shocking measure, this obligation to keep passwords and hand them over to police services," he said.

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