Google insisted that it had replied to CNIL in January, but neither party immediately responded to requests for an explanation of the discrepancy between their stories. Given CNIL's criticism of Google's previous responses as evasive or incomplete, the most likely is that Google did indeed reply, but that its answers were not precise or effective enough to satisfy CNIL.
Google Global Privacy Counsel Peter Fleischer was clearly in no mood to write any last-minute replies, however. He spent the weekend writing a post for his personal blog in which he accused European privacy laws of being quixotic, hopelessly vague and innovation-inhibiting.
Peter Sayer covers open source software, European intellectual property legislation and general technology breaking news for IDG News Service. Send comments and news tips to Peter at firstname.lastname@example.org.