Over the past decade the EU has been heavily invested in litigation against big tech. Notable personnel within the current and past US administrations have seen this as an unofficial strategy by both individual national governments and by the European Union.
President’s Trump and Obama have complained about the practise, with Obama going so far as to accuse the EU of launching probes to mask an agenda of protectionism
With that as a background, it is fascinating to read that Reuters are reporting that regulators in the EU are now investigating Googles data collection methodology and business practices.
This is not the first time that the European Union has picked a fight with Google over privacy concerns. Over the past two years its Competition Commissioner, Margrethe Vestager has handed down fines of more than EURO 8 billion to Google and insisted it change its business practices
The EU’s focus now appears to be relating to data collection and retention relating to Google’s local search services, programmatic advertising service, targeting and login services. A vast remit.
“The Commission has sent out questionnaires as part of a preliminary investigation into Google’s practices relating to Google’s collection and use of data. The preliminary investigation is ongoing,” the EU regulator informed the news agency Reuters, via an Email.
The collection and monetisation of user data is a political factor across the world, with governments coming under pressure from consumer advocacy and privacy-based organisations to investigate the practise.