Facebook privacy policy change leaves Dutch stomping feet

Google also giggling from Irish data law haven


Facebook is under investigation by the Dutch Data Protection Authority (DPA) after it unveiled plans to overhaul its new privacy policy in November.

The social network says the new policy was an attempt to “simplify” its privacy rules, but the College Bescherming Persoonsgegevens (the Dutch DPA) is concerned about the use of personal data to target advertising.

The new policy is expected to come into force on 30 January, despite calls from the data watchdog for it to be delayed.

Facebook said it was “surprised and disappointed to learn about the inquiry", but added that as a company based in Ireland, it reviewed its privacy policy with the Irish DPA, not the Dutch authorities.

In early December the DPA threatened Google with a fine of almost €15m because its “revamped” and “consolidated” privacy policy from 2012 breaks Dutch data protection rules.

Merging the privacy policies for 60 of its services including Google Search, YouTube, Gmail, Picasa, Google Drive, Google Docs and Google Maps earned the search giant the ire of the DPA. It has given the search behemoth until the end of February to make changes. ®

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