13.05 2018 06:20h
13.05 2018 06:20h

Google Gives Insight Into How It Collects Your Data

Be careful what you search for...
by @Laura Andrea Kell

At the end of this month Europe's General Data Protection Regulation will come into effect.

This game changing policy - which has been in the works since April 2016 - is trying to bring some much needed transparency to way tech companies collect data in Europe. It applies to all business collecting information on users in Europe.

Sounds boring, right?

You may care more about Instagram's latest emoji feature, the laws have a bigger impact on you than you realise.

According to Forbes the new regulations will greatly affect ". . . adtech companies comply with the collection and processing of personal data." And this includes tech giants like Google.

But the search engine giant is doing things a bit differently.

Wait . . . What is the General Data Protection Regulation?

The General Data Protection Regulation (a.k.a. GDPR) is a regulation in European law that governs data protection and privacy for all individuals within the European Union. It's coming into effect in a few days, prompting many of our favourite digital platforms to alter their methods of data collection - hence the reason why you might be getting a lot of emails lately.

The regulation also addresses the exporting of personal data outside the EU.

The GDPR aims primarily to give control to citizens and residents over their personal data and to simplify the regulatory environment for international business by unifying the regulation within the EU.

Tech companies that breach the new regulations could face a fine of up to €20 million.

While Facebook now allows its users to download a copy of everything they've ever posted on the platform (along with the ability to delete their data) Google has taken a very different approach in the wake of the new GDPR laws...  

So . . . Does Google have a new data collection policy?

While Google is committed to abiding by Europe's new GDPR laws, it hasn't significantly changed its data collection policies.

While the search engine giant has simplified the language used in its "updated" policy,  there are no significant changes in services or permissions. According to The Verge, Google seems intent on helping users understand why and how it collects data, but doesn't plan on stopping any time soon.

“We collect information to provide better service to all our users,” Google Director (Privacy Legal EMEA) William Malcolm said, in a recent blog post.

“When you’re not signed into a Google Account, we store the information we collect with unique identifiers tied to the browser, application, or device you’re using. This helps us to do things like maintain your language preferences across browsing settings.”

 

Google is also working on updating its data exporting options, so users will be able to review the information it collects.

But the bottom line is Google seems far less concerned about collecting data from its European users than other tech companies (i.e. Facebook).

How will this affect users in the UAE?

Most companies are working to become more transparent with their users, both inside and outside of Europe.

The new GDPR regulations ultimately benefit all users, so UAE citizens and residents can be mindful of what information companies and networks are collecting on their browsing habits. 

In the meantime, be careful what you Google...

What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.

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