Google plans to move UK users’ accounts out of EU into US jurisdiction post-Brexit

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on February 20, 2020

Google is planning to move the accounts of its UK users out of its Ireland office which is under the jurisdiction of the European Union in light of Brexit, according to Reuters.

The tech giant is planning to move its UK users’account into US jurisdiction prompted by Britain’s exit from the European Union, the report said.

Alphabet Inc’s search giant will require its British users to comply with new terms of service as per the US jurisdiction.

This will still ease data regulation compliance for the company as it moves the UK users out of EU which has one of the most aggressive data protection policies, the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) implemented in 2018.

Google has faced issues with the privacy regulations since it had come into effect with the tech giant facing the biggest fine levied under GDPR. The French authority for data protection Commission Nationale de l'informatique et des Libertés (CNIL) had levied a fine of €50 million in January 2019 against Google for “lack of transparency and valid consent” which it had planned to appeal. The fine was imposed on the basis of Google not having a legal basis for the collection of user data to personalize ads across its services such as YouTube, Gmail, and Google Map for Android platforms according to CNIL’s official statement.

In another instance, the tech giant in September 2019 won another landmark case under GDPR’s “right to be forgotten.” Authorities had filed the case against the company asking it to delist sites containing sensitive and harmful information against its citizens from its search results, according to BBC.

The US currently has one of the weakest data protection systems among major economies with no significant federal law for the same, Reuters reported.

Earlier this month, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) had published a bill which, if passed, would create a U.S. federal data protection agency for data protection.

“The Data Protection Act would address this head-on. My legislation would establish an independent federal agency, the Data Protection Agency, that would serve as a “referee” to define, arbitrate, and enforce rules to defend the protection of our personal data,” Gillibrand said in a blog detailing the legislation posted on Medium.

However, the provisions of UK GDPR will still apply to the users. Also, the recent Cloud Act passed in the US will make it possible for British authorities to get user data from US companies the report said.

Published on February 20, 2020

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