NEWS9 July 2013

ICO orders Google to comply over privacy issues

Legal Privacy UK

UK — The UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has criticised Google over changes to its privacy policy implemented last year.

In a statement, the ICO said that Google had failed to provide enough information to consumers about how their user data would be accessed.

An ICO spokesman said: “We believe that the updated policy does not provide sufficient information to enable UK users of Google’s services to understand how their data will be used across all the company’s products.”

The criticism follows Google’s decision to change its privacy policy to allow it to combine information about signed-in users across a variety of platforms. Only by not signing-in or using different servers can users avoid the data aggregation.

In February the French agency CNL criticised Google for failing to adequately respond to complaints about the new privacy policy and the ICO action follows similar investigations in 27 data protection authorities across Europe.

The ICO spokesman added: “Google must now amend their privacy policy to make it more informative for individual service users.”

Google has until 20 September to comply with the UK Data Protection Act or face possible formal enforcement action.