Google Inc (GOOGL) Conforms With U.K. Data Regulator Over Privacy Policy

Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) has agreed to make clear delineations with users in the U.K. about how it handles personal information in a “formal undertaking” with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) after the said agency found the search giant’s privacy policy to be too vague.  The regulatory agency announced in a statement that it is requiring Google to make such changes effective June 30 of this year, allowing the company a leeway of another two years to implement further changes.

The ICO invoked the provisions within the Data Protection Act, which accounts for the protection of users’ privacy by outlining how data should be collected. Earlier in March of 2012, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) implemented a new privacy policy that consolidated the 70 various policies of its services into one, but the European Article 29 Data Working Party, a data protection authority that includes the ICO, found the policy to be non-compliant with the European Data  Protection Directive . The EU data regulatory body subsequently imposed a deadline of February 13, 2013, by which time Google should have considered the recommendations set forth to make its policy compliant.

Google (GOOG)Data protection watchdogs from 28 European countries issued a deadline for Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) to implement changes in its privacy policy at the risk of facing a penalty. The search giant was fined by Spain in the amount of 900,000 euros ($1 million), while France imposed a fine of 150,000 euros ($167,000). The penalties are diminutive when compared to Google’s annual revenue of $55.52 as of 2013.

As a result of the investigation undertaken by the ICO, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) committed itself to make its privacy policy more accessible as well as to configure its account settings in such a way that would enable users to exercise more control. Google is also obliged to include information regarding who collects “anonymous identifiers” and the reason that data is being put out. Passive users, or users who are not signed in, will also be informed regarding the use of their data. According to ICO head of enforcement Steve Eckersley, it is “important for organisations to properly understand the impact of their actions and the requirement to comply with data protection law.”

This article has been written by Nonito Guntan.

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