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April 6, 2011

Google, Facebook and Microsoft to complain against French decree

Raise concerns over order asking them to hand over users' personal data to authorities

By CBR Staff Writer

Google, Facebook and Microsoft are among the Internet companies complaining to France’s highest judicial body against a decree asking them to keep Internet users’ personal data for a year.

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

The decree published in early March requires Internet companies to store personal data of users for a year, including IP addresses, usernames and passwords, and hand them over to authorities if requested.

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

"The data that’s especially sensitive for us is the password," said Tabaka.

ASIC also accused French authorities of not consulting the European Commission.

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

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