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Google And Tinder Facing Investigations In Europe Over Privacy Concerns

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Google and Tinder are facing investigations in Europe over privacy concerns. The Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) launched two separate probes to find if they are in breach of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), according to the commission. Both companies have their operational base in Ireland.


The investigation into Google is based on the company’s handling of location data. Complaints from consumer organizations across the European Union necessitated the investigations, Ireland’s DPC said.


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


MTCH Technology Services, the corporate name for matchmaking app Tinder, is facing investigations for “possible systemic data protection issues.”


Google and Tinder investigations
Tinder is also facing the DPC’s investigations


The DPC also said that it had received complaints from individuals within Ireland and across the EU relating to Tinder. The complaints included “ongoing processing of users’ personal data,” transparency surrounding that processing, and Tinder’s compliance with rules around data requests by users, the DPC said.

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Under the GDPR, users have the right to expect that their data will be securely stored and processed. They also have the right to request that companies delete their data or provide them with a copy.

Google says it is fully cooperating with the DPC investigations

If the complaints are proven as true, the companies in breach can be fined 20 million euros. They could also be fined 4% of their total annual worldwide revenue in the preceding financial year, whichever is higher. The GDPR was introduced in 2018 and comprised of a complete overhaul of the EU’s privacy laws.


“People should be able to understand and control how companies like Google use location data to provide services to them.  We will cooperate fully with the office of the Data Protection Commission in its inquiry, and continue to work closely with regulators and consumer associations across Europe,” said a Google spokesman in a statement.


“In the last year, we have made a number of product changes to improve the level of user transparency and control over location data,” the statement also said.


A spokesman for Tinder said that “transparency and protecting our users’ personal data is of utmost importance to us. We are fully cooperating with the Data Protection Commission, and will continue to abide by GDPR and all applicable laws.”


Google is under a separate DPC’s investigation since May 2019 over data protection in online advertising.


The DPC will try to establish if the companies have a legal basis for the way in which they handle data. It will also determine whether they meet the expected standard of transparency and are properly complying with user requests.


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