The ICO 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. “Failure to take the necessary action to improve the policy's compliance with the Data Protection Act by 20 September will leave the company open to the possibility of formal enforcement action.”
The news will hardly impress privacy advocates who lament the ICO’s ability to only fine Google up to £500,000. Others will take some solace in the UK’s data regulator finally baring its teeth over Google’s perceived liberties with data. The ICO has given Google until 20 September to "take the necessary action to improve the policies compliance" and has threatened to take "formal enforcement action” if the company does not do so. Earlier this year, a data protection watchdog in Germany fined Google €145,000 over the unauthorised collection of personal data in relation to the company's Street View project.