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Google Reaches Agreement With Italian Privacy Regulators For Improvement And Reform Of Their Privacy Policy

February 20, 2015 - Written By Justin Diaz

Google has recently agreed to allow for an individual from the Italian government to perform on-the-spot checks on campus at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, CA., in regards to the investigation set forth by European regulators back in 2012 when Google consolidated all of its 60 privacy policies into one large policy statement. Besides being able to send someone to Google headquarters to perform the checks, Google will be sending quarterly updates to the Italian government. Both the checks and the quarterly update are collectively part of a plan for the regulators to ensure that Google is making the necessary changes to its privacy policy to improve upon it.

At this point in time it wasn’t noted how often European regulators will send someone to the Google campus to perform the checks but with quarterly updates being a part of the agreement, it would make sense to see them sending someone at least once per quarter in between updates to verify the information. Now that agreements have been made on Google’s part to begin the process of reform for improvement of their privacy policy, it’s stated that Google has until January 15th of 2016 to comply with the changes.

Regulators laid out other guidelines as part of the order for privacy policy changes that they want Google to make which includes a policy for each specific service, such as Gmail, Chrome, Google Wallet etc. Meaning Google will have to have a separate policy for each Google service. It was also noted that each policy must be “unambiguous and easily accessible.” Further, each privacy policy must explain the reasons for which Google is collecting and storing personal data from users as well as the method of obtaining said data. Part of that explanation must also include Google’s methods for combining the data collected across its multiple platforms. In addition to the above requirements European regulators are also requiring Google improve the storage for user’s personal data and set up a time frame for when it can be wiped out from both backup and online servers, as well as have older versions of privacy policies readily accessible for users so they can contrast them against new policy changes and see the differences between them.