February 4, 2020 / 12:14 PM / 6 months ago

Ireland launches inquiry into Google's processing of location data

FILE PHOTO: The brand logo of Alphabet Inc's Google is seen outside its office in Beijing, China August 8, 2018. Picture taken with a fisheye lens. REUTERS/Thomas Peter/File Photo

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Google’s main regulator in the European Union, Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner (DPC), has launched an inquiry into the company’s processing of location data, the DPC said on Tuesday.

"The inquiry will set out to establish whether Google has a valid legal basis for processing the location data of its users and whether it meets its obligations as a data controller with regard to transparency," the commission said in a statement here

The DPC is the EU’s lead data regulator for a number of large U.S. technology firms which have headquarters in Ireland under the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation’s (GDPR) “One Stop Shop” regime.

Those rules give regulators the power to impose fines for violations of up to 4% of a company’s global revenue or 20 million euros ($22 million), whichever is higher.

The DPC said it had “received a number of complaints from various consumer organisations across the EU, in which concerns were raised with regard to Google’s processing of location data.”

In May it opened its first investigation into Alphabet Inc’s (GOOGL.O) Google over how it handles personal data for the purpose of advertising.

The DPC has more than 20 large-scale investigations under way into multinational technology firms, including Twitter (TWTR.N), LinkedIn (MSFT.O), Apple (2788.T) and Facebook (FB.O).

Reporting by Ambhini Aishwarya in Bengaluru and Conor Humphries in Dublin; editing by Arun Koyyur and Jason Neely

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