Slashdot points us to a story about how many EU Parliament Members signed on to a declaration supporting the creation of an “early warning system to combat sexual child abuse.” Sounds good, right? But the devil is very much in the details. Christian Engstrom notes that many of the MEPs who signed on didn’t realize that part of the declaration was to extend already controversial data retention laws to search engines, meaning that Google would need to store your search results far beyond what they currently do, just in case law enforcement wants to go trolling through your search history.
Of course, this seems doubly ironic since so many European countries are up in arms over Google collecting data via open WiFi networks. So, which is it, Europe? Do you want Google not to collect data, or do you want Google to save data for years in case police want to snoop through it? No, the two situations are not identical, but there is a clear conflict between EU privacy rules and EU data retention rules. On the one hand, they give Europeans the ability to supposedly take control over their private info, including requiring companies to delete it. On the other hand, they demand that companies store data in case the police would like to look through it.