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    Germany Urges Google Make Search Engine Algorithm Transparent: Reports

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    German authorities are calling on Google to reveal the details of its secret formula which has allowed it to monopolize engines in Europe, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday.

    MOSCOW, September 16 (RIA Novosti) - German authorities are calling on Google to reveal the details of its secret formula which has allowed it to monopolize engines in Europe, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday.

    "With a market share of 95 per cent, Google dominates the search engine world, and is able to rank its search results in a manner apt to promote its own business interests. And that is not acceptable. We must think about how to solve this problem," the German justice minister, Heiko Maas said in an interview with the Financial Times adding transparency is a must in making sure the company's power is not abused.

    "We advocate consistent application and enforcement of antitrust legislation at the domestic and European levels. As far as the state's role is concerned, the competition authorities are responsible for assessing whether a company has a dominant position in a certain market and whether it is abusing that position," Maas added.

    According to the justice minister, the German authorities hope to reach a reasonable consensus to the problem rather than unbundling Google, a last resort. The company disputes the requirements to disclose the search engine ranking algorithm, arguing that transparency could allow competitors access to confidential business information.

    Thanks to Edward Snowden a former NSA employee who revealed classified documents allowing the US surveillance agency access to sensitive information of some European members via Google. Company representatives have denied the accusations, though the disclosure has provoked deep concerns regarding the security of personal data held by telecom providers in Germany.

    On 25 January 2012, the European Commission proposed a comprehensive reform of the EU's 1995 data protection rules to strengthen online data protection rights and boost Europe's digital economy which was reformed and committed to a "timely" adoption at a summit on October 24-25 of 2013. The new law is expected to be adopted by mid- 2015.

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    transparency, Google Inc, Heiko Maas
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