February 22 11:03 2020 Print This Article

Many of you will have received this week (mine arrived today)  what seemed to be an innocuous email  from Google advising us that “We’re improving our Terms of Service and making them easier for you to understand. The changes will take effect on 31 March 2020”

One has learnt by now that when any of these major multinationals, financial institutions or others tell us that they are improving, rectifying, or simplifying their information it is not to the benefit of the consumer, as is the case here; within the message text is the following paragraph:-

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. 

Firstly, the logic that they have updated their terms because we are leaving the EU is totally fallacious, its only logic can be to, feed Googles rapacious appetite for our personal data. Secondly it is difficult to imagine a more serious challenge to our personal data sovereignty.  

In particular:

  1. We have not as yet left the EU and remain members till 31st December 2020 and therefore  GDPR is still extant and the UK requires to abide by the Act. Google will be transferring

(on or after 31st March 2020) all the personal data they hold, for which they do not appear to have any legal basis, such as consent or legitimate interest and are therefore acting in absolute contradiction of the UK data protection Act 2018.

  • Furthermore, It is possible, indeed likely that before 31st December 2020 we will receive an Adequacy decision in our favour which means we will be operating as if we are still members of the EU for Personal Data transfer and therefore there is no legitimate reason to transfer all of our data to the USA at this time if at all.
  • Should Google succeed in its intentions, then many others will follow. In these circumstances one might consider the possibility of the EU  imposing a blanket ban on data transfers from the EU to the UK, unless and until a significant contractual agreement is made between the UK/EU with the United States, which the EU has been unable to achieve over the last three years of negotiations.  

Without adding another conspiracy theory to the many out there , is it beyond the realms of possibility that this has already been part of the trade negotiations discussions with the USA.

The questions that requires to be asked,  was the ICO consulted and what if anything should/are they be doing about it.

We need to know


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Jeffrey Coorsh
Jeffrey Coorsh

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