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ICO urges Google to improve its privacy policies

16 Aug 2011 4:04 BST Back
ICO urges Google to improve its privacy policies
DMA News

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The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has asked Google to enhance its privacy policies further. 

This follows an ICO audit of the company in July in which the ICO said it found improvements to Google’s privacy policies. 

The audit was part of the terms of an agreement Google signed in November 2010 after an investigation following the controversial StreetView for Google Maps project. 

In May 2010 the German data protection authority discovered that the search engine had collected WiFi payload data alongside the real-time images of cities across the world. 

Google maintains that this was a mistake and has since taken a number of steps to improve its privacy policies. 

This includes the introduction of a Privacy Design Document for all new projects and providing advanced data protection training for all engineers. 

The ICO would also like Google to create a ‘Privacy Story’ (an explanation of how data will be managed in a new product) and expand the Privacy Design Document so it covers all projects, not just new ones. 

Information Commissioner, Christopher Graham, said: “I’m satisfied that Google has made good progress in improving its privacy procedures.”

But Graham made it clear there was still work to be done: “The ICO’s Google audit is not a rubber stamp for the company’s data protection policies. The company needs to ensure its work in this area continues to evolve alongside new products and technologies. Google will not be filed and forgotten by the ICO.”

Posted by 

Nicola Carpenter

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