Italy: Google must alter data privacy policies within 18 months

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The Italian data regulator has granted Google an 18 months timeframe to alter its data collecting, handling and storing policies.

Regulators of Italy and several other European Nations have initiated a joint inquiry last year after Google was found consolidating 60 data privacy policies of its various outlets including YouTube, Gmail and social network Google+ into one, leaving no room for users to opt out of the consolidation.

In a statement released Monday, the Italian watchdog ruled that Google’s disclosure to users, regarding data handling and storing, remained insufficient, despite the company’s efforts to abide by local law.

The Rome-based Italian Data Protection Authority in its ruling gave Google a year and a half time to change its data protection policies. The new regulations would require the company to obtain consent from people before tracking their data and using it for advertising. The watchdog also demanded Google to meet the Google account users’ requests to delete their personal data in up to two months time.

In addition, the internet giant will also be required to submit a plan detailing how it will comply with the new rules within the next 18 months, before September. If in case, Google fails to meet the new regulations, it could face penalties of up to $1.35 million (1 million Euros).

In response to the ruling, a Google spokesman said the company has been cooperating with the regulator throughout the process and would continue to do so and that it would carefully review the regulator’s ruling before taking any further steps. The tech giant has also agreed to detail out a roadmap of steps it will take to comply with watchdog’s ruling in a document by the end of September.