UK Orders Google to Update Privacy Policy

05 July 2013 Internet, IT & e-Discovery Blog Blog
Authors: Peter Vogel

Google now has until September 20, 2013 to revise its Privacy Policy or be fined by the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) which is dissatisfied with Google’s March 2012 Privacy Policy. In April, 2013 six EU states (France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and the United-Kingdom) launched an enforcement action against Google to change its Privacy Policy, but each EU state must pursue their own action and seek claims.

On June 10, 2013 the French Privacy organization CNIL (Commission nationale de l’informatique et des libertés) issued an order to Google to comply with the French Data Protection Act within 3 months, and on July 4, 2013 the UK ICO sent a letter to Google that stated its findings:

...relating to the update of the company’s privacy policy. In our letter we confirm that its updated privacy policy raises serious questions about its compliance with the UK Data Protection Act.

The UK Data Protection Act lists the following principles:

1. Personal data shall be processed fairly and lawfully and, in particular, shall not be processed unless –
(a) at least one of the conditions in Schedule 2 is met, and
(b) in the case of sensitive personal data, at least one of the conditions in Schedule 3 is also met.

2. Personal data shall be obtained only for one or more specified and lawful purposes, and shall not be further processed in any manner incompatible with that purpose or those purposes.

3. Personal data shall be adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the purpose or purposes for which they are processed.

4. Personal data shall be accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date.

5. Personal data processed for any purpose or purposes shall not be kept for longer than is necessary for that purpose or those purposes.

6. Personal data shall be processed in accordance with the rights of data subjects under this Act.

7. Appropriate technical and organisational measures shall be taken against unauthorised or unlawful processing of personal data and against accidental loss or destruction of, or damage to, personal data.

8. Personal data shall not be transferred to a country or territory outside the European Economic Area unless that country or territory ensures an adequate level of protection for the rights and freedoms of data subjects in relation to the processing of personal data.

Computerworld reported that the fine that the:

ICO can issue monetary penalties of up to APS500,000 (US$752,000) for serious breaches of the Data Protection Act.

Google’s saga in the EU apparently will not go away until Google changes its Privacy Policy, so stay tuned to see what Google does.
 

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