UK encourages Google to revise privacy policy

July 08, 2013

Questions have been raised over Google's privacy policy once again, as one major body in the UK calls for extensive changes to be made to the way in which data is collected and used.

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), which is tasked with upholding the information rights of businesses and members of the public, believes that the internet giant is not taking the necessary steps to protect its users.

As a result, it has written to Google requesting that it updates the current privacy policy so that it complies with the UK Data Protection Act.

A spokesperson for the ICO emphasised that even though Google had updated its policy, it still falls short of giving people sufficient information to fully understand how their data is being used across the company's products.

"Failure to take the necessary action to improve the policy’s compliance with the Data Protection Act by September 20 will leave the company open to the possibility of formal enforcement action," the spokesperson added.

The ICO decided to take action against Google after joining forces with 27 other data protection authorities from across Europe, who have expressed concern over mobile application security and other potential privacy issues.

A number of other countries have opted to take similar action – such as France and Spain – as the members of the Article 29 Working Party hope to protect Google users in their home nations.

This latest development echoes findings from PricewaterhouseCoopers, which recently said that there is growing pressure on organisations to be more transparent with how they process customer data.

Its Entertainment and Media Outlook report highlighted that as it becomes easier to get hold of personal data, there is a growing need for companies to know how to deal with it in line with regulations.

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