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ICO to probe Google over alleged GDPR violations

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ICO to probe Google over alleged GDPR violations

Google faces a GDPR probe in Blighty

UK DATA WATCHDOG the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has confirmed that plans to investigate whether Google violated GDPR rules.

 The ICO has received a number of complaints about Google and its heavy-handed data collection, The Telegraph reports. The report notes that while Google launched “transparency tools” in order to better comply with the EU privacy regulation, it still offers consumers no option to opt out of data collection, other than to close all their accounts and request their data is deleted.

The watchdog confirmed to the newspaper that it’s working with other regulators around Europe to consider its next possible steps after a number of complaints had been raised, due to consumers becoming more informed about their rights and being willing to exercise them.

If found to be in breach of GDPR, the ICO has the power to fine Google up to 4 per cent of its global turnover, – which by 2017’s figures could be as much as $4bn (£3.1bn).

The ICO’s planned probe comes just weeks after France slapped Google with a €50m fine for GDPR violations. The fine, which marks the largest GDPR penalty to be imposed so far, came courtesy of French data protection watchdog CNIL and followed complaints lodged by two advocacy groups last May.

The complaints alleged that Google failed to have “a valid legal basis to process the personal data of the users of its services, particularly for ads personalisation purposes” when setting up an account from an Android device.

Google was also accused of securing “forced consent” through the use of pop-up boxes on the web and its apps which imply that its services will not be available unless people accept its conditions of use.

“Following the notice of the French supervisory authority (CNIL) to fine Google, the ICO is currently reviewing the notice to consider its content and possible next steps,” an ICO spokesperson said.

“The ICO is also liaising with other data protection authorities across Europe on this topic.

“Google is an organisation that offers products and services to a large number of individuals both in the UK and worldwide. We have received complaints regarding Google which are being reviewed.” µ

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