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BA says members can 'opt out' of Google deal

The Booksellers Association has said members can opt out of having information shared with Google after some independent booksellers criticised the trade body for reaching an agreement without consultation.

Chief executive Tim Godfray revealed at last week's Book Industry Conference in London that the BA has signed a deal with Google that would allow booksellers to sell Google Editions, when the digital platform launches in the summer. The BA also said that it would share member information with the internet company on weekly basis in order to drive book buyers to individual shops. However, some members expressed concerns that this had been carried out without first discussing it with them.

Godfray said: "What we are trying to do is to ensure that more consumers interested in books are aware of the huge variety of bookshops from which they can buy books. We hope that uploading data on BA members’ businesses will be beneficial, as 96% of all UK web searches originate on Google.

"Rest assured that no personal information is being given to Google. All the data on members’ businesses is in the public domain and is already published in our Directory of Members. Any member who is unhappy about being listed will be given the chance to opt out if they so wish, but our assumption would be that the majority of our members would want to take advantage of
the opportunities a Google search offers in guiding customers to their shops."

Godfray added any member with concerns should contact the BA directly.