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Google forced to change its privacy policy in the UK

Google following pressure from the British Information Commissioner’s office has agreed to change the privacy policy in the UK as it was found to be unclear. Google was in for a rude awakening when, after investigation by Britain’s data protection regulator it was found that the internet search giant was ‘too vague ‘about the vast amounts of data being gathered about users.google-search-right-to-be-forgotten

The firm has agreed to rewrite its policies and has now signed an undertaking to improve the information it provides to users. It has agreed to better inform users as to how it handles their private information.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) said in a statement on Friday that it required Google to sign a “formal undertaking” that it would make the changes by June 30 and take further steps in the next two years.

“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,” said Steve Eckersley, head of enforcement at the ICO.

As a result of the present memorandum of understanding, Google will not be fined by the United Kingdom for its actions, in contrast to France and Spain where regulators imposed penalties in addition to asking for changes. Spain fined Google 900,000 euros ($1 million) over the privacy policy and France 150,000 euros, the small penalties relative to Google’s scale.

The current issue can be traced back to March 2012 when the Mountain View, California based company combined some 70 existing privacy policies into one policy for all services. It also began to pool data collected on individual users across its services, including YouTube, Gmail and its social network Google+.

This prompted an investigation by UK’s Information Commissioner’s office, which argued that the policy was unclear and left many questions regarding how and why personal information was being gathered.

The full list of steps Google must take by 30 June 2015 under the MOU include:

1. Google will enhance the accessibility of its Privacy Policy to ensure that users can easily find information about its privacy practices.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. Google will provide information to enable individuals to exercise their rights.
5. Google will provide user resource covering data processed by Google and the purposes of processing.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. Google will revise its Privacy Policy to avoid indistinct language where possible.
10. Google will enhance its guidance for employees regarding the notice and consent requirements.
11. 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.

Source 12 ]

About Sara Rose

She has spent the past 4 years playing the role of an IT consultant, and has now joined The Next Digit as a full time blogger. Her current profession is a result of her deep experience in computer gadgets, laptops, gaming accessories and other tech updates.

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