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Google moves UK user data to the US

By Chris Dawson March 9, 2020 - 4:05 pm

Google are moving all British user data from being controlled by Google Ireland to being controlled by Google LLC in the US. This move is as a consequence of the UK leaving the EU and as a contingency step in case the UK moves away from EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) data privacy rules.

Google have said that barring the jurisdiction change, nothing will change concerning how Google take care of your data in the short term. However part of the reason for the change is so that UK Police will still be able to request user’s data in criminal investigations. Once the UK has fully left the EU, if user data was still held in Ireland, an EU jurisdiction, this could have been exceptionally tricky for Google and the Police to negotiate.

It’s worth noting that the US have much more lax data protection laws than those in the EU with no equivalent to GDPR. If the UK decide to horse trade data privacy as part of any future UK-US trade negotiations, having UK user data controlled in Ireland would have been a huge problem, but with it held in the US it’s likely to be much easier.

“Your service provider and data controller is now Google LLC: Because the UK is leaving the EU, we’ve updated our Terms so that a United States-based company, Google LLC, is now your service provider instead of Google Ireland Limited. Google LLC will also become the data controller responsible for your information and complying with applicable privacy laws. We’re making similar changes to the Terms of Service for YouTube, YouTube Paid Services and Google Play. These changes to our Terms and privacy policy don’t affect your privacy settings or the way that we treat your information (see the privacy policy for details). As a reminder, you can always visit your Google Account to review your privacy settings and manage how your data is used.”
– Google

Google’s new terms and conditions are effective from the 31st of March 2020 and you can read the updates here.

It’s likely that other large tech companies will be forced to make similar decisions over where UK user’s data is controlled.

  • james
    3 months ago

    well that’s one way of looking at it….

    the other is, we had great privacy protection, now we have very little.

    the government clawing back a tiny percentage of what they lost through this suicidal move, by selling my privacy, does not console me much.

    “as a contingency step in case the UK moves away from EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) data privacy rules.”
    – You don’t need to make a contingency for that, unless you plan to exploit the weaker protection, which they do.
    It’s like a thief camping in your garden “as a contingency” in case you decide to install rubbish door locks. you shouldn’t be pleased by this. at all.

    “part of the reason for the change is so that UK Police will still be able to request user’s data in criminal investigations.”
    No, that’s a crap excuse. a nonsensical crap excuse.
    why will it be easier to acquire data from America than from Ireland? it won’t.
    Google has little or no interest in facilitating UK police enquiries, in fact it’s incumbent on Google to resist police requests, and only co-operate with the correct warrants etc produced. if a UK court produces the correct warrants it matters little where google say your data is stored, they will provide it.

  • NorthCrystal
    3 months ago

    Google Ireland moving (data) out of Ireland (EU) because the UK is leaving EU…. And BoJo was born in Russia….

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