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Friday, July 05, 2013
UK's Privacy Watchdog Also Urges Google To Change Its Privacy Policy

The UK's privacy watchdog the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) is added to the list of European privacy authorities and has told Google to change its privacy policy by September.

The ICO has informed Google about the update of the company's privacy policy, saying that it raises "serious questions about its compliance with the UK Data Protection Act."

"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," an ICO spokesperson said.

"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."

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has taken the latest action after working with the other members of the Article 29 Working Party, made up of the other 27 data protection authorities from across Europe. Similar announcements have recently been made by several other data protection authorities, including those in France and Spain. The Hamburg Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information also announced Thursday that it would take action against Google over changes the company made to its privacy policy.

Google's updated privacy policy came into effect in March 2012, combining many separate privacy policies. This means data collected via one Google service could be used across all platforms.

Google claims that its privacy policy respects European law and allows the company to create simpler, more effective services.

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