Google has been ordered to change its privacy policy by September 20 by the Information Commissioners Office (ICO).

Following a lengthy investigation, the UK privacy watchdog concluded the Internet giant was not fully complying with the UK Data Protection Act.

This comes after other privacy watchdogs throughout Europe, in countries including Germany and Italy, have also reached the same conclusion.

The initial motivation for the ICO investigation actually came from the French data protection organisation Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertes (CNIL) launching an investigation into Google’s privacy policies.

The CNIL investigation stemmed from Google unifying its 70  separate privacy policies into one cohesive document for digital marketing purposes in order to help it to generate more user specific targeted advertising.

In a statement, the Information Commissioners Office, said: “We believe that the updated policy does not provide sufficient information to enable UK users of Google’s services to understand how their data will be used across all of the company’s products.

“Google must now amend their privacy policy to make it more informative for individual service users.

The ICO was also quick to defend the lengthy 15 months it had taken for it to reach the conclusion Google’s privacy policy was not up to scratch.

It added: “It’s not just about examining what is and isn’t in the privacy policy itself. It’s also about examining what the products and services actually do with the data.”

At the time of the initial investigations launch, a Google spokesman defended the criticism of the firm’s privacy policy. He said: “Our privacy policy respects European law and allows us to create simpler, more effective services.

“We have engaged fully with the DPAs involved throughout this process, and we’ll continue to do so going forward.”

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About the author:

Martin Boonham is an online copywriter for ClickThrough Marketing, he has worked there since October 2012. He has a Masters in Print Journalism from Nottingham Trent University, where he also gained his NCTJ qualification at the same time; achieving qualifications in subbing, shorthand and media law.