European Union looks into how Google, Facebook collecting data

Marco Green
December 3, 2019

European Commission informed Reuters that the world's most popular internet search engine Google remains under scrutiny. In other words, what does Facebook require of a company before it hands them access to data?

Key focuses of the probe appear to include local search, advertising practices (including ad targeting), sign-in services, and web browsers.

The EU confirmed it had launched an investigation on Saturday. Other cases included a 2017 investigation into Google Shopping, and an anticompetitive practices case in 2018. The tech giant is also facing intense antitrust scrutiny on the home front, with 50 state attorneys general now conducting an investigation into various facets of Google's business. Google is appealing most of these fines and decisions, though the fines have had little impact on Google's revenue or share price. She demanded a change in business practices of Google.

Notably, the EU Executive Commission has charged more than Euro 8 billion (£ 6.9 billion) to the Google since the past two years, following the investigation concerning Google's business giving it an unfair advantage over its competitors. Its new auction mechanism was created to benefit Google, they complained and asked the European Union to take another look at the system. Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson said in September that the sheer number of attorneys general involved sends a "strong message to Google".

History of data-related complaints. If the commission detects problems with Google's methods of data collection, the company may face a fine again and this time may have to pay a higher sum.

One of the potential unintended consequences of GDPR has been that Google and Facebook benefit while smaller companies without their multiple properties and expansive networks are disadvantaged. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission accused Google of collecting information on users' whereabouts even after they switched off the location setting.

Why we should care.

This is far from being the first time Facebook's collection of data has been brought under the spotlight, and it is unlikely to be the last.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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