The Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) has announced it is investigating Google and MTCH Technology Services Limited (Tinder) over possible misuse of personal data under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The two latest investigations mean the Irish DPC now has 23 active investigations into big tech firms.

The DPC has said that it has received a number of complaints about Google from various Consumer Organisations across the EU in relation to Google’s processing of location data, and Google’s transparency surrounding that processing. The investigation will try to establish whether Google has applied a valid legal basis for processing location data of users and whether Google has been sufficiently transparent about its processing.

The investigation into Tinder centres around transparency and whether the company has a valid legal basis for ongoing processing of users’ personal data. Concerns about the platform’s use of personal data have been raised by individuals both in Ireland and across the EU, and there have been complaints about the company and how it has handled data subject rights requests. The DPC has said it has been actively monitoring complaints received from individuals in order to identify thematic and possible systemic data protection issues.

 

Ryan Dunleavy is quoted in the article, which states:

“Experts do not expect a quick turnaround to the probes. Ryan Dunleavy, partner and head of media disputes at law firm Stewarts, points out that while ‘it is commendable that the Irish Data Protection Commissioner is willing to step forward and challenge these big tech firms,’ the regulator’s €17 million ($18.7 million) budget pales in comparison to Google’s $130 billion in ad revenue last year. ‘Google has generally tended to fight hard in regulatory investigations, and indeed civil court claims against it, so it will be interesting to follow where this latest investigation goes,’ he adds.”

Ryan also comments:

“We are seeing a shift in power and financial clout from nation states to some of the larger multinational tech companies. Sometimes regulators may feel like King Canute, but it is good to see the Irish DPC doing its job as best it can. It is commendable that the Irish DPC is willing to step forward and challenge them.”

 

The full article in Compliance Week can be read behind a paywall here.

 


 

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