Google in Europe

Some changes to our service model in Europe

Today, we started notifying our users in the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland about some changes we’re making to how we provide our services.  These changes will be reflected in updates to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy that you can read now, but that will come into effect on January 22, 2019.

The first change we’re making is that for users based in the EEA and Switzerland, Google Ireland Limited—based in Dublin, where Google has its European headquarters—will become the “service provider” responsible for most of our consumer services, from Search to Gmail to Maps and beyond. 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 Drive, Play, YouTube, and YouTube Paid Service.

We’re also making a number of updates to Google’s Privacy Policy. The most important of these is that Google Ireland Limited will become the “data controller” legally responsible for EEA and Swiss users’ information. 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).

We’re making the data controller change to facilitate engagement with EU data protection authorities via the GDPR’s “One Stop Shop” mechanism, which was created to ensure consistency of regulatory decisions for companies and EU citizens.

It’s important to note these 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.