Google Move Shifts UK Personal Data To The US

Google users may be puzzled about why they have had a flood of terms of service updates from the internet giant.

Most of the millions of people receiving the messages will ignore them, but beneath the jargon lies some important information about Google’s privacy policy for British users.

Google is scheduled to move huge amounts of personal data out of the European Union to the USA.

Only British users are affected because Brexit gives Google an opportunity to remove them from the stringent General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and to put the information further out of reach of the UK authorities and courts.

Will GDPR still apply?

“Nothing about our services or our approach to privacy will change, including how we collect or process data, and how we respond to law enforcement demands for user information,” Google said in a statement. “The protections of the UK GDPR will still apply to these users.”

The change means Google’s US operation – Google LLC – will control the personal data of British users rather than Google Ireland.

The new t & c’s also let Google bundle data collected by the Chrome browser, Chrome OS and Google Drive in to the new US data package.

UK data regulator the Information Commissioner’s Office said: “Our role is to make sure the privacy rights of people in the UK are protected and we are in contact with Google over this issue. Any organisation dealing with UK users’ personal data should do so in line with the UK Data Protection Act 2018 and the GDPR which will continue to be the law unless otherwise stated by UK government.”

89 Google services impacted

Users have a choice – accept the Google t & c’s or stop using the company’s 89 services, including the Chrome browser, Gmail, search engine, Google Drive, and Play.

Some lawyers suggest fears about how Google may use personal data of British users are unfounded and the information will remain protected by GDPR as the UK has already adopted the principles and will continue to do so after the Brexit transition period.

Instead, experts believe Google is consolidating global datacentres under one roof in the USA to take advantage of tax breaks available by creating onshore jobs.