Being part of Europe brought UK citizens a number of benefits (and I’m sure there are downsides too) but one of the things that they’ve enjoyed until very recently was the excellent privacy and personal information protections offered by the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (or GDPR).
However, with the move to leave the European Union, Google users in the UK will lose something else, too – no longer will they be covered by GDPR protections; instead, they’ll be “protected” by the much lesser privacy protections of the United States.
According to Reuters, it’s said that Google will be asking UK citizens to accept new terms of service as their accounts are transferred to US jurisdiction. It’s said that this will be an easier management process for Google than would be setting up a UK subsidiary to benefit local users.
Unsurprisingly, this move may be because US data privacy laws are far less strict … and thus far less onerous for companies to comply with. Sadly, for UK citizens, this means that their data will be easier to access by the authorities.
Android Police reports that some users are receiving these notifications already:
We’re improving our Terms of Service and making them easier for you to understand. The changes will take effect on 31 March 2020, and they won’t impact the way that you use Google services. And, because the United Kingdom (UK) is leaving the European Union (EU), Google LLC will now be the service provider and the data controller responsible for your information and for complying with applicable privacy laws for UK consumer users.
Sorry UK Google customers, your data is now just that little bit less protected, and in this modern connected era, data privacy and protection is (or should be) near the top of people’s lists of concerns.