Matt Atlas

Google’s Location Tracking Under Formal Probe In EU

The Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) is investigating Google’s handling of user location data. Google’s European headquarters is in Ireland, which makes the DPC the main regulator of the multinational giant in the European Union.

The DPC has received many complaints from various consumer protection organizations in the EU, concerned with how Google handles user location data.

“The issues raised within the concerns relate to the legality of Google’s processing of location data and the transparency surrounding that processing,” the DPC said.

The purpose of the investigation is to determine whether Google has a “legal basis” for processing this data and whether it meets the transparency requirements of the European data protection rules known as GDPR.

Google said it would cooperate fully with DPC in its investigations and intends to continue to work closely with regulators and consumer protection organizations across the EU. “We made a number of product adjustments last year to increase the level of transparency and user control over location data,” the company said in a statement.

Last May, DPC opened a Google investigation into the use of personal data for advertising purposes. Regulators can impose fines of up to four percent of their annual worldwide sales for GDPR violations. Google is the world’s most widely used Internet search engine, providing a variety of other services, also related to the Android mobile phone operating system.