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Google 'to move Britons' data to the US'

Google is planning to move Britons' data from Europe to the US, where privacy law is weaker, it has been reported.

Article originally published by The Telegraph. Hargreaves Lansdown is not responsible for its content or accuracy and may not share the author's views. News and research are not personal recommendations to deal. All investments can fall in value so you could get back less than you invest.

Google claims users' privacy will be kept safe but that it must 'prepare for Brexit' as UK braces for negotiations over data flows

Google is planning to move Britons’ data from Europe to the US, where privacy law is weaker, it has been reported.

It plans to shift tens of millions of user accounts hosted in Ireland to the US, removing them from under the jurisdiction of stringent European privacy law, according to Reuters.

The surprise move was prompted by Britain’s departure from the European Union ahead of negotiations between the UK and the EU on the movement of information across borders.

Just two weeks ago Google warned shareholders that Britain's departure from the European Union may hamper its revenue and subject the company to new regulatory fines and technical challenges relating to the transfer of personal data between the two countries.

A Google spokesman said: “Like many companies, we have to prepare for Brexit. Nothing about our services or our approach to privacy will change, including how we collect or process data, and how we respond to law enforcement demands for users' information. The protections of the UK General Data Protection Regulation will still apply to these users."

The nitty-gritty of what elements of the GDPR the UK will cherry pick now that it is no longer beholden to Europe’s laws is still being ironed out.

The Information Commissioner has assured companies it would mostly be business as usual during the current “transition period”.

After this, the GDPR will be brought into UK law as “UK GDPR” to sit along existing data protection law. While the UK allows information to flow into Europe, the reverse is still under negotiation.

Hosting British accounts on American soil could make it easier for British law enforcement to access to information like emails or Android operating system data than if they remained hosted in Google’s European hub.

In October the US and UK signed the Cloud Act, a data sharing agreement which makes it easier for law enforcement to request information directly from technology companies based in respective countries without legal barriers.

Ravi Naik, a data protection expert and founder of the data law firm AWO, warned that if Google moved Britain’s data to the US it might weaken negotiations for cross-border data transfers from Europe into the UK, referred to as an adequacy decision.

He said: "There is no legal reason to process UK data in the EU post Brexit, so it is a foreseeable if regrettable post-Brexit reality. And such developments are very troubling for British data protection, and for the prospects of an adequacy decision from Europe.

"To those that want to protect and further data protection, this development is troubling and should be a concern. I would hope and expect significant parliamentary debate about the shape of our future data protection regulations but I suspect this may be low on many people’s radar. It really shouldn’t be, as data flows are key to our economy."


This article was written by US Technology Reporter and Margi Murphy from The Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

Article originally published by The Telegraph. Hargreaves Lansdown is not responsible for its content or accuracy and may not share the author's views. News and research are not personal recommendations to deal. All investments can fall in value so you could get back less than you invest.

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