Google strikes a deal
The UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) said that Google was “too vague when describing how it uses personal data gathered from its web services and products”.
Google has also agreed to provide “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”.
There are several other stipulations which Google must adhere to, including making it clear who can collect anonymous identifiers (“an anonymous identifier that is used for the same purposes as a cookie on platforms, including certain mobile devices, where cookie technology is not available”) and how they are used. It will also need to make sure that “passive users are better informed about the processing of their data”. A passive user is someone who uses Google services but are not signed in.
Google has only until 30 June 2015 to roll out the changes, and is likely to adopt a common policy and wording across the whole of the European Union to satisfy all the regulators that had investigations open.
The company has also dropped several appeals concerning investigations by French and Spanish privacy watchdogs.
Google “pleased” the investigation is closed
“This undertaking marks a significant step forward following a long investigation and extensive dialogue” said Steve Eckersley, the ICO’s head of enforcement.
Larry Banks is a keen follower of technology and finance. He has worked for a variety of online publications, writing about a diverse range of topics including mobile networks, patents, and Internet video delivery technologies.