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Google under data privacy scanner in Europe

It seems the bad news doesn’t end for Google. Time and again the search engine giant’s location tracking system has come under fire by data privacy groups. This time it has been accused of going against the European data protection laws while tracking users’ locations.

The criticism has been triggered by a coalition of seven consumer organizations who are filing complaints with local data protection regulators over Google’s tracking system. The complaints are based on a research done by one of the coalition members who alleges that people are being forced to use Google’s location system.

In a statement, mentioned in a news report by BBC, the coalition said Google used “deceptive practices” to make people turn on its different tracking systems. Consent, it said, was not being freely given.

It has also been alleged that Google did not give “straightforward information” about what surrendering the data entailed.

Just to give a perspective, to address privacy concerns and bring current privacy rights in accordance to digital age, the European Union has implemented the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in May 2018.

According to the regulation, enterprises that collect data from citizens in EU countries will need to comply with strict new rules around protecting customer data.

Also Read: How GDPR will impact location data

Google’s defense

To defend itself, Google has said that the tracking is turned off by default and can be edited and paused any time.

“If it’s on, it helps improve services like predicted traffic on your commute. We’re constantly working to improve our controls and we’ll be reading this report closely to see if there are things we can take on board,” said Google.

Not the first time

Recently with Associated Press’s investigative report on how Google is tracking your location even when you have turned off your location history, has made the contentious issue of location privacy all the more apt for redressed.

Soon after the report, Google had accepted that it is tracking you 24×7, and that it was not clear about its communication. The search engine giant revised a detailed description on its website enumerating how “Location History” setting works and clarifying that it continues to track users even if they have disabled the setting.

Tracking of location data can give away deep insights about personal lifestyle including your political activity, work pattern, food habits, etc. Passing on or utilizing these kind of information against your knowledge is a matter for concern that can pose problem for Goodle repeatedly.

Also Read: Did you know Google is tracking you 24×7? Here is how you can stop it

Also Read: Google accepts it is tracking you 24×7