The watchdog, and the other European regulators that form the Article 29 Working Party, have been pressing Google to improve its policy over the past two years, gaining small but for the most part unsatisfactory concessions along the way.
The company will also need to provide "clear, unambiguous and comprehensive information" about how and for what purpose it processes user data, as well as "an exhaustive list" of the types of data it processes.
"This undertaking marks a significant step forward following a long investigation and extensive dialogue. Google's commitment today to make these necessary changes will improve the information UK consumers receive when using their online services and products," Steve Eckersley, head of enforcement at the ICO.
Google said it was pleased the UK's investigation was over.
European regulators were concerned from the outset of Google's policy broke European laws and would ultimately harm consumers by blending personal data across services.
The full list of steps Google must take by 30 June 2015 under the MOU include:
- Google will provide clear, unambiguous and comprehensive information regarding data processing, including an exhaustive list of the types of data processed by Google and the purposes for which data is processed.
- Google will provide information to enable individuals to exercise their rights.
- Google will provide user resource covering data processed by Google and the purposes of processing.
- Google will implement several measures to ensure that passive users are better informed about the processing of their data and that publishers using Google products obtain the necessary consents.
- Google will enhance its guidance for employees regarding notice and consent requirements.
- Google will ensure, so far as practicable, that the requirements of the first principle are applied equally to all Google products, regardless of which terminal device the Google user is accessing them on, including mobile, tablet, desktop, and new hardware offerings.
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