Ireland Investigates Google Over Data Privacy

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Ireland's Data Protection Commission announced that it will launch a probe of Google Inc. regarding the search company's collection of data over online advertising / Photo by: Stephen Bergin via Wikimedia Commons

 

Ireland's Data Protection Commission announced that it will launch a probe of Google Inc. regarding the search company's collection of data over online advertising.

The Irish data privacy watchdog serves as the lead supervisory authority for the tech giant in the European Union. On Wednesday, the Commission said its investigation will determine whether Google's processing of data in regard to advertising transactions violates the bloc's privacy rules, CNBC reports.

"A statutory inquiry pursuant to section 110 of the Data Protection Act 2018 has been commenced in respect of Google Ireland Limited’s processing of personal data in the context of its online Ad Exchange," the Commission said in a statement published on Wednesday.

A spokesperson from Google said that the tech giant will "engage fully" with the Commission's probe and accept the "opportunity for further clarification of Europe's data protection rules for real-time bidding.

"Authorized buyers using our systems are subject to stringent policies and standards," the company spokesperson added.

Last year, Brussels presented extensive privacy reforms known as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). CNBC says these reforms provide Europeans with new authority in how they can handle their data. For instance, citizens now have the right to know how firms use their data and even have companies destroy those data.

The GDPR comes at a time when companies are facing heightened regulatory criticism worldwide from hateful content to data protection. In 2018, Facebook suffered extreme scrutiny over how it authorized controversial political consultancy Cambridge Analytica to gain access to data of 87 million users.

On the other hand, Google had to pay 50 million euros ($56 million) in fine earlier this year to France's privacy regulator—the first penalty for a US-based tech giant since the introduction of the GDPR.

The Data Protection Commission's probe into Google comes ahead of the first anniversary of the data protection law, which was implemented on May 25, 2018.