No British citizen’s personal information should be uploaded to the Google cloud until data regulators are satisfied with Google's attitude to privacy
Ultimately, this meant that users were unaware that their private information was about to become a lot more valuable to Google and as such had no opportunity to decide whether to opt-out.
One year on and Google has now been told it faces action from at least six European data protection authorities, including the British Information Commissioner’s Office.
The maximum fine that can be levied by the ICO is £500,000 – a drop in the ocean for Google – so we think that the ICO should look for broader ways to enforce the law.
An increasing number of British public sector organisations, ranging from schools to government departments, are using Cloud based services, including those provided by Google. The public sector should seriously question whether they should be using Google’s Cloud service considering the clear statements that have been made by the European data protection regulators. By voting with its feet, the public sector could make a serious statement about the UK’s attitude towards individuals’ privacy. That would arguably be far more effective than slapping Google with notices and fines.
Consumers are growing increasingly concerned about how their data is being used and it is essential that those breaking the law are properly punished. Regulators must identify and make use of a sanction that is not simply a slap on the wrist and will make Google think twice before it ignores consumer rights again.
We believe that until data regulators are satisfied with Google’s attitude to privacy, no British citizen’s personal information should be uploaded to the Google cloud.
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