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Internet companies fight French rules on user data
April 5, 2011 / 2:13 PM / 7 years ago

Internet companies fight French rules on user data

* Lawsuit planned for Wednesday

* Rules force providers to retain user info and passwords

PARIS, April 5 (Reuters) - A French industry association whose members include Google (GOOG.O), Microsoft (MSFT.O) and Facebook wants to overturn French rules requiring them to collect and store personal data on their users.

The group, known as ASIC, plans to file a complaint to France’s highest administrative court on Wednesday to invalidate the data storage regulations published in early March, said its director Benoit Tabaka.

The regulations, which stem from a 2004 law, require internet companies to keep a raft of data on their users, such as their names, mailing addresses, email addresses, telephone number, as well as their account passwords.

The data could then be requested by police or authorities during investigations.

Among ASIC’s concerns are the length of time the companies are required to store such data and also the rules on user passwords, which it considers to create a security risk.

Tabaka said all the group’s 26 members approved of the complaint, and saw the rules as imposing an unfair, costly burden on the companies.

”It doesn’t make sense to have different requirements in France than what we have in Spain and England,“ he said. ”Also we do not feel comfortable turning our customers’ passwords over to the police.

A Google spokesman declined to comment. (Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)

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