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ICO demands Google amend its privacy policy to comply with Data Protection Act

Updated Must change its policy by 20 September
Thu Jul 04 2013, 16:42
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THE UK INFORMATION COMMISSIONERS OFFICE (ICO) has written to Google demanding that it update its privacy policy, claiming that it isn't in compliance with the UK Data Protection Act.

The ICO launched an investigation of Google's updated privacy policy in April, as did five other European data protection agencies, saying it would look into whether the firm's revised policy is compliant with the UK Data Protection Act.

The ICO's investigation came to an end today, and the watchdog hasn't found in Google's favour.

An ICO spokesperson told The INQUIRER in a statement that Google's privacy policy "raises serious questions about [Google's] compliance with the UK Data Protection Act", and the ICO demanded that Google must change the policy by the 20 September or face sanctions.

The ICO said, "We have today written to Google to confirm our findings relating to the update of the company's privacy policy. In our letter we confirm that its updated privacy policy raises serious questions about its compliance with the UK Data Protection Act.

"In particular, 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 of the company's products.

"Google must now amend their privacy policy to make it more informative for individual service users. Failure to take the necessary action to improve the policies compliance with the Data Protection Act by 20 September will leave the company open to the possibility of formal enforcement action."

Google said in a statement, "Our privacy policy respects European law and allows us to create simpler, more effective services. We have engaged fully with the authorities involved throughout this process, and we'll continue to do so going forward."

It's not clear what action the ICO will take if Google declines to update its privacy policy. µ


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