Through its apps and programs like Google maps, Waze and more, the internet behemoth is keeping tabs on your location, and using that information to optimize other initiatives in its massive wheelhouse of mobile and online offerings.
That's the message from the Irish Data Protection Commission, which on Tuesday announced a fresh probe over concerns the company’s collection and processing of user location data through its various programs and apps could be violating stringent privacy rules in effect in the European Union.
In a statement on Tuesday, the Irish Data Protection Commission said the Mountain View, Calif.-based search-engine giant was being questioned about “the legality of Google’s processing of location data and the transparency surrounding that processing.”
Of concern to EU regulators is whether Google and other companies that offer location-tracking apps such as mapping and other functions are collecting and analyzing more than just individuals’ locations, such as information about their shopping and commuting habits, sexual orientation and even political affiliations.
The Google probe adds to more than 20 investigations by the Irish authority into Facebook (FB) - Get Report, Twitter (TWTR) - Get Report, Apple (AAPL) - Get Report and others for the same reasons. The two most advanced cases concern Facebook’s WhatsApp program’s transparency around data sharing, and a probe into Twitter following a breach reported to the regulator in January 2018.
The bad news came a day after Alphabet opened the proverbial black box on Google, announcing that slower-than-expected revenue growth from YouTube and Cloud services offset a solid bottom line in its latest quarter.
That news sent Alphabet's stock down by nearly 4% in morning trading on Tuesday.
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