Now that the UK has finally got its Brexit ducks in a row (kind of), Google users will lose the data protection afforded to them by the European Union.
Google has chosen to move UK user accounts to U.S. jurisdiction, meaning it'll be easier for authorities in the UK to get hold of your data for law enforcement purposes, and that your information will no longer be protected by the EU's stringent rules including GDPR.
The U.S.'s data protection rules are considered some of the loosest in the world, and there's no equivalent of GDPR. The Trump administration recently passed the U.S. Cloud Act, which will help law enforcement in the UK get hold of user data from U.S. companies.
It's currently not clear whether post-Brexit Britain will continue to use the GDPR rules, or set up something of its own (oh god).
There's no Google statement on the decision, but former Global Lead of Privacy Technology at the company told Techradar:
"There’s a bunch of noise about the UK government possibly trading away enough data protection to lose adequacy under GDPR, at which point having them in Google Ireland’s scope sounds super messy.
Never discount the desire of tech companies not to be caught in between two different governments."
Google users will have to accept new terms of service, including the jurisdiction change, to continue using their Google services. [Techradar]
This post originally appeared on Gizmodo UK, which is gobbling up the news in a different timezone.