Last year, the Italian government gave Google 18 months to reform its tata collection policies and change the way it stores and treats that user data. The Wall Street Journal reports today that Google has now agreed to allow the Italian government to perform spot checks at its Mountain View headquarters. The regulator will get quarterly updates from Google and have the ability to send someone  to Mountain View for “on-the-spot checks.”

“As we said in July last year, we’ve engaged fully with the Italian data protection authority throughout this process and will continue to do so,” Google said through a spokesperson.

Today’s development is a continuation of the string of European investigations that started in 2012 for Google. The investigations began when Google combined all 60 of its privacy policies into one and started combining user data it collected on all of its services to create a more fuller profile of its users.

In addition to spot checks, the Italian regulator is also ensuring that Google perform the following changes:

  • The privacy policy must be “unambiguous and easily accessible” and tailored to each specific service, such as Gmail, Google Wallet and Chrome.
  • The privacy notice must tell users how and why Google is collecting and storing their data, including how the company builds profiles by combining data across multiple services, using cookies and other identifiers such as fingerprinting.
  • Set up an archive of previous versions of its privacy notices to allow users to keep track of changes.
  • Improve storage of users’ personal information and establish a specific timeframe for deleting information from its online and back-up systems.

This is the first time Google will undergo regular checks to monitor its progress, the Italian authority said. Google has until January 15, 2016 to comply with these requests.

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About the Author

Chance Miller


Chance currently writes for both 9to5Google and 9to5Mac, in addition to 9to5Toys.