Google to make privacy policy more clear after criticism from UK watchdog

Search giant is too vague about how it uses personal data, Information Commissioner’s Office says

Andrew Griffin
Friday 30 January 2015 16:37 GMT

Google has been forced to change its privacy policy to be more clear about how the search giant uses the data is gathers.

The UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) said that Google’s privacy policy was too vague about how it uses the information it has on users of its web services and products.

Google introduced a new privacy policy in 2012, pulling together the roughly 70 policies it had for all of its various services. But the ICO said that the policy was too unclear.

Google has now signed a commitment to make the policy clearer, the ICO said. It will make sure the policy adheres to the Data Protection Act and it will also take steps to make sure that future changes also comply.

Google has already made some changes suggested by the ICO. The rest must happen before June 30 2015, and then it will have to take yet more steps in the next two years.

“Whilst our investigation concluded that this case hasn’t resulted in substantial damage and distress to consumers, it is still important for organisations to properly understand the impact of their actions and the requirement to comply with data protection law,” said Steve Eckersley, head of enforcement at the ICO.

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