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Parliamentary questions
PDF 108kWORD 21k
22 August 2018
P-004313-18
Question for written answer P-004313-18
to the Commission
Rule 130
Ramon Tremosa i Balcells (ALDE)

 Subject:  ‘Google is collecting your data, even when your phone isn't in use’ — EU GDPR and EU privacy rules compliance
 Answer in writing 

Commissioners Vestager and Jourova will be well aware that Google profits from the vast amounts of data it collects from the billions of people who use its suite of applications, its mobile operating systems and its devices. According to new research,(1) most of that valuable personal and location data is being collected despite users not being informed that this is happening or even when they may not be actively using their phones.(2), (3), (4)

Individuals’ personal data is collected and used for marketing and advertising purposes. However, the degree to which people are aware of the extent to which these mechanisms are used is clearly questionable.

According to the new data protection rules,(5) EU citizens should now have increased control over the use of their personal data. This allows individuals to keep control of their own data, and, for example, transfer data to a different service provider. Moreover, special attention has been paid to children, as there are now additional conditions for the processing of their data.

1. Is the Commission aware of this research,(6) and does it know that users of Google’s Android mobile phone operating system and some Google apps on iPhones are having their location data tracked and recorded, even if they have opted out of being tracked?

2. Does the Commission consider these practices to be in breach of the GDPR and EU privacy rules? If so, what action will it take?

(1)https://www.adweek.com/digital/google-still-stores-location-data-even-if-users-opt-out-report-shows/
(2)https://money.cnn.com/2018/08/21/technology/google-data-collection/index.html?utm_source=twCNN&utm_medium=social&utm_term=image&utm_content=2018-08-21T10%3A02%3A48
(3)https://www.adweek.com/digital/google-is-collecting-your-data-even-when-your-phone-isnt-in-use/amp/?__twitter_impression=true
(4)https://apnews.com/828aefab64d4411bac257a07c1af0ecb/AP-Exclusive:-Google-tracks-your-movements,-like-it-or-not
(5)https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/law-topic/data-protection/data-protection-eu_en
(6)https://apnews.com/828aefab64d4411bac257a07c1af0ecb/AP-Exclusive:-Google-tracks-your-movements,-like-it-or-not

Last updated: 27 August 2018Legal notice