Google is moving some EU citizens data to US

Posted on Tue 25 February 2020 in Privacy • Tagged with privacy, google, gdpr, eu, brexit, citizens, data, controller

What is going on

As you may have heard already, because of brexit, Google is moving UK citizens data from the Northern Ireland data controller to the US one (Google LLC). Leaving the EU, UK citizens are not protected anymore by GDPR, and while this may be unfair, Google is legally allowed to do it.

The problem

Even if I'm an Italian citizen and I live in Italy, a few days ago I received this email from them:

google data controller

What's wrong with it?

The point is that I'm an Italian citizen, living in Italy. I have nothing to do with UK (even if I lived there for a few years in the past, my account was created from Italy).

Why do they mention "UK leaving EU" to me, if I don't live in UK?

I tried to contact them multiple times on their @Google account on Twitter, but I got no reply at all. I tried to search online and it looks like I'm not alone, they are doing this to many other people:

Looking for help

What should I do? Is this legally allowed?

If there was an easy way to complain with them, I would have done it already, but I've tried to search on their website (even googling it... no pun intended) but I couldn't find a single contact form to report this issue and of course they are ignoring both Twitter and that forum I linked previously.

Should I report them to the Privacy Authority? If yes, how?

Full text of the email

Here is the full text of the email I received:

We’re improving our Terms of Service and making them easier for you to understand. 
The changes will take effect on 31 March 2020, and they won’t impact the way that you use 
Google services. And, because the United Kingdom (UK) is leaving the European Union (EU), 
Google LLC will now be the service provider and the data controller responsible for your 
information and for complying with applicable privacy laws for UK consumer users.

For more details, we’ve provided a summary of the key changes and Frequently asked questions. 
And the next time that you visit Google, you’ll have the chance to review and accept the new Terms. 
At a glance, here’s what this update means for you:

•   Improved readability: While our Terms remain a legal document, we’ve done our best to make them 
    easier to understand, including by adding links to useful information and providing definitions.
•   Better communication: We’ve clearly explained when we’ll make changes to our services 
    (like adding or removing a feature) and when we’ll restrict or end a user’s access. 
    And we’ll do more to notify you when a change negatively impacts your experience on our services.
•   Adding Google Chrome, Google Chrome OS and Google Drive to the Terms: Our improved Terms now 
    cover Google Chrome, Google Chrome OS and Google Drive, which also have service-specific terms 
    and policies to help you understand what’s unique to those services.
•   Your service provider and data controller is now Google LLC: Because the UK is leaving the EU, 
    we’ve updated our Terms so that a United States-based company, Google LLC, is now your service 
    provider instead of Google Ireland Limited. Google LLC will also become the data controller 
    responsible for your information and complying with applicable privacy laws. 
    We’re making similar changes to the Terms of Service for YouTube, YouTube Paid Services and 
    Google Play. These changes to our Terms and privacy policy don’t affect your privacy settings 
    or the way that we treat your information (see the privacy policy for details). 
    As a reminder, you can always visit your Google Account to review your privacy settings and 
    manage how your data is used.

If you’re the guardian of a child under the age required to manage their own Google Account and 
you use Family Link to manage their use of Google services, please note that when you accept 
our new Terms, you do so on their behalf as well, and you may want to discuss these changes with them.

And of course, if you don’t agree to our new Terms and what we can expect from each other as you 
use our services, you can find more information about your options in our Frequently asked questions.

Thank you for using Google’s services.
Your Google team