UK privacy watchdog warns Google to fix privacy policies by September

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The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), a privacy watchdog organization from the United Kingdom, recently told Google that the search engine company had better get its act together and change its privacy policy by September.

ICO’s primary complaint is that Google simply doesn’t do enough to give its UK users important information about how all of the data Google collects about them is going to be used, which ICO says brings up “serious questions about [Google’s] compliance with the UK Data Protection Act.”

Google, of course, went on the record as saying that its privacy policy respects current European law, and also claims that it has long been working with “the authorities” to craft appropriate policies. Its latest policy went into effect in March of last year, and it allows Google to combine all of the data it gathers on a user across all of its services (i.e. Gmail, YouTube, Search, etc.) and use it across its various platforms. The official rationale is so Google can offer a better user experience, but most likely it has more to do with improving targeted advertisements.

UK users aren’t allowed to opt-out of this policy if they want to use Google products, which is a major cause of consternation for ICO.

So far, Google hasn’t said whether it intends to comply with ICO’s warning and change its policy by the deadline.

[via ZDNet]

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