Google launches global privacy crusade in France

Google is calling on businesses and regulators throughout the world to adopt international standards for protecting consumer privacy online and offline, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report said the request, unveiled last week in France, comes as the online search leader battles privacy concerns that threaten its plan to buy Internet ad service DoubleClick for $3.1 billion.

Google, which already runs the Internet's most lucrative marketing network, is counting on the purchase to boost its profits by helping sell even more ads, the Associated Press report said.

New York-based DoubleClick collects information about the web surfing habits of consumers, an activity that has stirred complaints from privacy watchdogs and prompted antitrust regulators to take a closer look at Google's proposed acquisition, the report said.

Google already retains information about search requests, which can reveal intimate details about a person's health, finances, sexual preferences and other sensitive topics.

Google's call for international privacy rules comes less than two months after Microsoft and IAC/InterActiveCorp's Ask.com jointly urged its rivals to collaborate an industrywide standard, the report said.

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