Google are moving all British user data from being controlled by Google Ireland to being controlled by Google LLC in the US. This move is as a consequence of the UK leaving the EU and as a contingency step in case the UK moves away from EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) data privacy rules.
Google have said that barring the jurisdiction change, nothing will change concerning how Google take care of your data in the short term. However part of the reason for the change is so that UK Police will still be able to request user’s data in criminal investigations. Once the UK has fully left the EU, if user data was still held in Ireland, an EU jurisdiction, this could have been exceptionally tricky for Google and the Police to negotiate.
It’s worth noting that the US have much more lax data protection laws than those in the EU with no equivalent to GDPR. If the UK decide to horse trade data privacy as part of any future UK-US trade negotiations, having UK user data controlled in Ireland would have been a huge problem, but with it held in the US it’s likely to be much easier.
Google’s new terms and conditions are effective from the 31st of March 2020 and you can read the updates here.
It’s likely that other large tech companies will be forced to make similar decisions over where UK user’s data is controlled.