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Google Agrees To Change Privacy Policy In UK

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Google Agrees To Change Privacy Policy In UK
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Google has agreed to change its privacy policy in the UK with respect to how it gathers personal data, the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office announced today.

The changes to Google’s privacy policy will reflect the requirements of UK’s Data Protection Act, a document that outlines the ways in which data must be collected in order to not compromise the privacy of users.

UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office has taken issue with Google’s privacy policy since the update in 2012 that combined the privacy policies across all of Google’s services into one. The commissioner’s office argues that this policy was too vague and left many questions regarding how and why personal information was being gathered.

Google is no stranger to its privacy policy being the subject of legal investigations, and the company has made many small changes over the years in attempts to please regulators who still push for further changes.

So what makes the change announced today different from changes the company has made in the past? Well it appears to have pleased the Information Commissioner’s Office for one thing, as the head of enforcement was quoted in the announcement saying:

“This undertaking marks a significant step forward following a long investigation and extensive dialogue. Google’s commitment today to make these necessary changes will improve the information UK consumers receive when using their online services and products.”

The changes Google has agreed to make to its privacy policy will come into effect by June 30, with further action to be taken over the next two years. The changes will apply only to the UK.

For an exhaustive list of the changes Google has agreed to make, please see below:

  • Google will enhance the accessibility of its Privacy Policy to ensure that users can easily find information about its privacy practices.
  • Google will enhance the disclosures in its Privacy Policy to describe its data processing activities more clearly, including the types and purposes for which it processes user information, and to provide users with information to exercise their rights.
  • Google will provide clear, unambiguous and comprehensive information regarding data processing, including an exhaustive list of the types of data processed by Google and the purposes for which data is processed.
  • Google will provide information to enable individuals to exercise their rights.
  • Google will provide user resource covering data processed by Google and the purposes of processing.
  • Google will include two provisions of the Google Terms of Service, regarding the processing of email data and the shared endorsement feature, in the text of the Google Privacy Policy.
  • Google will add more information to its Privacy Policy about the entities that may collect anonymous identifiers on Google properties and the purposes to which they put that data.
  • Google will implement several measures to ensure that passive users are better informed about the processing of their data and that publishers using Google products obtain the necessary consents.
  • Google will revise its Privacy Policy to avoid indistinct language where possible.
  • Google will enhance its guidance for employees regarding notice and consent requirements.
  • Google will ensure, so far as practicable, that the requirements of the first principle are applied equally to all Google products, regardless of which terminal device the Google user is accessing them on, including mobile, tablet, desktop, and new hardware offerings.
  • Google has implemented a multi-layered approach to its Privacy Policy and will make additional changes to further enhance the layers.
  • Google will launch a redesigned version of Account Settings, which will allow users to find a variety of controls and information more easily, and will more prominently feature the Dashboard at the top level.
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Matt Southern

Lead News Writer at Search Engine Journal

Matt Southern has been the lead news writer at Search Engine Journal since 2013. With a degree in communications, Matt ... [Read full bio]

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