Google has changed its privacy policies in the U.K. It was forced to do so in order to avoid heavy fines.
The company has promised to better inform users as to how it handles their personal information. Under a deal struck with the UK Information Commissioner’s Office, the company will also agree to undergo a two year review.
This will certainly come as a relief to countless people around the world who fear that the Internet is spying on them. While Google and retail websites keep track of your search history to better provide users with more relevant results in the future, personal information can be saved by these companies and sold to third parties for marketing purposes.
This is the biggest complaint against Facebook. People also fear that Internet companies like Google may also cooperate with governments when it comes to spying on them.
We may use the name you provide for your Google Profile across all of the services we offer that require a Google Account. In addition, we may replace past names associated with your Google Account so that you are represented consistently across all our services.”
The BBC reported that Google will 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.”
“This undertaking marks a significant step forward following a long investigation and extensive dialogue, ” said Steve Eckersley, the ICO’s head of enforcement. “Whilst our investigation concluded that this case hasn’t resulted in substantial damage and distress to consumers, it is still important for organizations to properly understand the impact of their actions and the requirement to comply with data protection law.”
He added, “It is vital that there is clear and effective information available to enable users to understand the implications of their data being combined.”
Google is expected to make similar arrangements with other European governments.