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Google: EU Privacy Spat Will 'Play Itself Out'

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 9:17am
The Associated Press

Eric Schmidt, Chairman of Google, participates in the panel discussion "The Pulse of Today's Global Economy" at the Clinton Global Initiative, Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013 in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)Athens, Greece (AP) — Eric Schmidt, Google's executive chairman, said Thursday that he respects but disagrees with complaints about his company's privacy policies made by data protection authorities in six European countries.

Schmidt said the Internet search and ad giant has "very broadly communicated" its policies to authorities in the countries where the complaints have been made.

Data watchdogs in France, Britain, Germany, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands have said Google needs to provide additional guarantees to comply with national privacy protection rules in each of those countries.

Schmidt made his comments in Athens while attending a technology event there, and after meeting with Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras.

"I have reviewed this. I just don't agree with the (data protection authorities) that are making this complaint ... With respect I just disagree and we just disagree, and we'll let it play itself out," Schmidt said.

"It seems to me that we have said very clearly what we do with the information, and ... that we have to be respectful of people's privacy. And if we were to be disrespectful of your privacy, you'd go somewhere else or you wouldn't use us."

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