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Google settles dispute with UK, agrees to change privacy policy by June


Google has had its fair share of privacy-related run-ins with the authorities in Europe, but will now be able to put one of those disputes behind it. TechCrunch reports that the company has reached an agreement with the UK’s privacy watchdog to change its privacy policy in order to comply with UK law.

The UK’s Information Commissioner didn’t object to the personal data collected by Google, but found that it was not properly explaining to consumers what data was collected and how it would be used. Google has agreed to include illustrative examples to help consumers to understand its policies.

In particular the Commissioner recommended that the data controller should do more to bring users’ attention to processing which would not be within their reasonable expectations. When considering this point it was noted that some users will not have sufficient technical knowledge to fully appreciate the ways in which the data controller can obtain their data from their use of the data controller’s products and services, how the data is combined, and how behavioural advertising on the internet operates. It was suggested that further examples of the processing would assist in this regard.

Google also came under fire in the UK last year for continuing to drop cookies in Safari even when users had switched off this option.

Its far bigger fight against Europe’s ‘right to be forgotten‘ legislation is likely to continue to run for some considerable time.