UK Google users will lose GDPR protections


Google users in the UK might feel another effect of the Brexit process, and it's one they may not have expected. According to Reuters, the tech giant is planning to place British users' accounts under US jurisdiction, which means they're losing the protections of the EU's General Data Protection Regulation. As the news organization notes, the GDPR is known for having one of the world's strictest set of rules for data privacy and gives authorities the power to impose aggressive fines.

The US, on the other hand, recently enacted the CLOUD Act (PDF). And based on how it works, it might make it easier for foreign authorities (like British law enforcement) to compel US-based companies to hand over data for investigations. Google is based in Ireland in the EU, along with many other tech companies like Facebook. Reuters says the tech giant decided to move British users out of Irish jurisdiction because it remains unclear if Britain intends to adopt the GDPR following its exit from the European Union.

We've asked Google for a statement and confirmation. If Reuters' report is true, though, then users in the UK will be required to acknowledge Google's new terms of service, along with the new jurisdiction in the near future.

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