Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation came into effect earlier this year and for the most part, big companies have been able to adapt to the new continent-wide privacy standards. Google is updating its privacy policy early next year to further GDPR compliance.

Google began notifying European Economic Area and Switzerland users today of updates to the company’s terms of service and privacy policy. Coming into effect on January 22, 2019, the primary change deals with what part of the company regulators deal with in case of disputes.

According to Google, today’s changes “do not in any way alter how our products work or how we collect or process user data within our services.”

Nothing changes about your current settings, and you will continue to have granular control over the data you share with us when you use our services. And of course, we remain fully committed to compliance with the GDPR across all of the services we provide in the European Union.

Google Ireland Limited will become the “service provider” responsible for consumer services, including Search, Gmail, and Maps. The company’s European headquarters has long been based in Dublin.

These changes will be reflected in our general Terms of Service, where the “service provider” that offers these services is currently Google LLC, based in the U.S. We are also making similar changes in the separate terms for DrivePlayYouTube, and YouTube Paid Service.

Meanwhile, there are a “number of updates” to the privacy policy, with the company noting that Google Ireland Limited will also become the “data controller” legally responsible for the information of European and Swiss users. This change ensures “consistency of regulatory decisions for companies and EU citizens.”

This means that Google Ireland Limited becomes responsible for responding to requests for its user data, including from EU law enforcement, consistent with Irish law. It is also responsible for compliance with applicable privacy laws, including Europe’s new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

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Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: