Google Modifies Privacy Policy After U.K. Government Probe

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Google makes some serious changes to its privacy policy to appease the concerns of European officials

A U.K.-based watchdog group recently complained that Google’s search engine terms were too vague for the public. In response, the search engine giant agreed to change its search terms. This case initially started three years ago when Google introduced a new privacy policy. Since there were a number of  expanded services, the search giant simplified the process by combining the policies into one broader policy.

Google plans to work with government officials

It was that very move that prompted the U.K.’s Information Commissioner’s Office to investigate. It all led to the current decision regarding the policy’s lack of information. There is no word on whether the recent settlement alleviated the issue. The search giant is facing other allegations from other European authorities as well.

Last year Google made changes to its policy in an effort to work with U.K. investigators. The company agreed to simplify user controls and add disclosure updates about cookies. Since officials did not bring formal charges against the search giant, Google made an agreement to add stipulations. The stipulations ensure that various user groups and third-party experts will review any future privacy policy changes and give feedback.

ICO pleased with search giant’s effort to comply

Google also plans to work with the commissioner and give the agency advance notice of future changes. The company also promised to respond to inquiries in a timely manner. Additionally, the search giant will have to provide a report to the Commissioner by August 2015. This report will list steps the data controller has taken. The ICO’s enforcement lead, Steve Eckersley, said Google’s latest move is a huge step forward after a long investigation. Google has yet to comment on the matter.

Google is often the focus of scrutiny in Europe. One of the biggest problems involved antitrust matters. More specifically, the issue involves the search giant’s dominance in both online and search-based advertising.

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