Web firms file privacy complaint against France

More than 20 Web firms active in France, including Google, Facebook and eBay, have filed a complaint against a decree that requires them to store users' emails, passwords and other information for a year.

The decree requires e-commerce firms to store that information, as well as telephone numbers, password hints, mailing addresses and pseudonyms, for up to a year so the data can be used by police or other authorities as part of an investigation.

The firms are represented by the French Association of Internet Community Services (ASIC), which is bringing their case before the State Council.

"Several elements are problematic. For instance, there was no consultation with the European Commission," ASIC head Benoit Tabaka told reporters. "This is a shocking measure, this obligation to keep passwords and hand them over to police services."

Tabaka also noted that France hadn't consulted with the European Commission before publishing the decree at the start of March.