Three years ago Google merged more than 60 privacy policies into one gargantuan document, in the hope it would be simpler and more readable for its customers around the world. Some people were skeptical of the changes and, despite Google’s best efforts to explain itself, the company was pulled into an investigation with European regulators. Since then both sides have been debating back-and-forth, with Google proposing new changes and the EU’s assigned taskforce asking for various revisions and improvements.
But the ICO’s demands don’t stop there. The conditions also mean that Google has to provide earlier notice and information for “passive users,” improve and simplify user privacy controls, and overhaul its in-house policies for deleting user data. The UK regulator admits that Google’s current policy hasn’t “resulted in substantial damage and distress” for customers, but clearly it felt there was some room for improvement. The company now has until the end of June to make the agreed changes, although there are further measures it needs to comply with over the next two years. Will this be enough to satisfy the larger European taskforce? It’s not clear, but assuring Britain would certainly be a start.
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