Google's making it easier to understand and manage user data it collects

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The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) - which the European Union said aims "to protect all [its] citizens from privacy and data breaches in an increasingly data-driven world" - will come into force on May 25.

In a blog post from William Malcolm, Google's director of privacy and legal for EMEA the internet giant marked a departure from its typically technical language to explain in the simplest of terms what the changes would mean for those who use its services, alongside video examples.

Users will also be able to view or delete any data collected, including search and location history, from Google services using My Activity.


The GDPR requires "public authority organisations" to appoint a data protection officer (DPO) to "assist you to monitor internal compliance, inform and advise on your data protection obligations, provide advice...and act as a contact point", according to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO). Google says that "explanatory videos and illustrations" are helpful because they "can be easier to understand than text alone".

The company also improved its user controls, making it easier to "review your Google security, privacy and ad settings", it notes.

With "Activity Controls", users can choose what activity is saved to their Google Account. Google ensures the data portability with a data export feature. You can now download your info from even more Google services (the company does not make it clear which ones exactly) and also schedule periodic downloads.


"Manage or mute the ads you see on Google, on websites and in apps using the recently upgraded "Ads Settings" tool and "Mute This Ad control", Malcolm said.

Google announced a number of updates across its platforms that will help it comply with the upcoming EU GDPR regulations. That includes our partners around the globe: advertisers, publishers, developers and cloud customers.

These changes come at a time where awareness on privacy issues are higher than usual with scandals such as the Cambridge Analytica data breach affecting Facebook users worldwide. To read Google's updated Privacy Policy, head here.


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