Alex Türk, President o the National Commission or computing and liberties (CNIL) has expressed concerns on issues o pri acy, including search engines ("Les echos" April 7). In an inter iew with the "Echos", Peter leischer, responsible at the global le el o the protection o personal data to Google, he responds and re ute the arguments o the CNIL.
The CNIL President accuses Google block the European negotiations on the duration o retention o personal data o Internet users. Why has this block
We had a hearing be ore all European CNIL, the G29, last ebruary. Asked us what our reaction would be i Microso t and Yahoo! lowered the duration o retention o data rom Internet users. But two players ha e already made an e ort. Yahoo! rose 3 months under certain conditions not always ob ious to understand or users and we ha e mo ed to 9 months, 18 pre iously. Microso t did nothing at all. O course, we respect the recommendations o the G29, seeking a period o 6 months. But this is only a recommendation that is not the orce o law. We are ready to do better when technology permits. Today, we are obliged to store data with 9 months to impro e our search algorithm. Other engines ha e di erent algorithms and may be subject to di erent arbitrations. It is there ore di icult to agree on the same retention period.
How do you consider the position o the CNIL
I ound Alex Türk, President o the CNIL, a ery pessimistic iew o things, a technophobe ision. It cartoon the American approach, which he would be to consider personal data such as market goods. Our approach in Google is realistic and pragmatic. The explosion o Internet data tra ic increases the risk o problems related to respect or pri ate li e, it is undeniable. It is easier to bring together scattered data on the Web thanks, in part, to the search engines. But this created also the possibilities or transparency and control or users on these data. It is or example the case o the ad ertising ocused on the pre erences o users. This is ten years. But we only allow users to access their pro ile and change their own pre erences, see to disable to no longer ha e targeted ad ertising.
But the rules must be the same or all stakeholders to create transparency...
The European Commission appointed a group o i e experts to re lect on the protection o personal data. I was part o this group but he has met only once in Brussels. Mr. Türk torpedoed the initiati e because o trade links between some experts o the group with us companies. I am sorry. These re lections will be elsewhere.
Two approaches are possible to set rules. Our companies can depend on a national regulator whose decisions will be respected by other countries. This is already happening or the pharmaceutical industry. In an e iciency concerns, the company depends on the regulator o the country where its main acti ity or its headquarters. In our case, it would be the equi alent o the CNIL in Ireland, main centre o acti ity o Google in Europe. The alternati e is to de ine common global rules. I ha e proposed, in a speech at Unesco, to de ine these harmonised rules. They can be de ined in di erent organizations such as the economic cooperation or the Asia-Paci ic (Apec), the United Nations, the OECD, Unesco and the European Union. But the regulatory applications o these principles will necessarily be di erent rom one country to another. Cannot be imposed on Asian countries to act as the European countries.
Microso t belie es that should be at least 5 years to de ine these global rules, lea ing the ield open to Google...
(Smile). We are in daily scrutiny by the authorities rom around the world. I e en was stopped by police o icers at Milan and charged or the distribution o a iolent ideo on Google ideo that we had quickly withdrawn two years ago. I was shocked by the method. Be that as it may, pending the establishment o global rules, can work in parallel in groups o re lections or between businesses to de ine common principles. It was in the United States and England with the O ice o interacti e ad ertising (IAB).