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Personal data with Google may not be safe: Here's why


New Delhi, Sep 05: Google is reportedly relaying your personal web browsing information, location and other data to advertisers via hidden web pages, new evidence submitted to Ireland's Data Protection Commission has revealed.

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"Google allegedly used a tracker containing web browsing information, location and other data and sent it to advertising companies via webpages that "showed no content", the report said.

Is Google violating EU data privacy regulations?

The Data Protection Commission began an investigation into Googles practices after privacy-focused browser Brave filed a complaint against Google and other internet ad companies in Ireland and the UK for allegedly violating the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The petitioners say they want to trigger an article in the new European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requiring an EU-wide investigation, making it a test case for a new European Data Protection Board created to give the privacy regime more teeth.

The GDPR seeks to ensure that individuals have greater control over the data that companies hold about them. Brave and the co-plaintiffs say Google and others are playing fast and loose with people's data.

The Brave team says when a user visits a site that runs behavioral ads, a large amount of user data is collected by the code for the ad slots and broadcasts it back to the advertising platform. This exposes the visitor's data to potential ad buyers who are looking to show an ad to that specific user in a process called real-time bidding (RTB).

Ryans evidence showed that Google had "labelled him with an identifying tracker that it fed to third-party companies that logged on to a hidden web page".

We do not serve "personalised ads or send bid requests to bidders without user consent", Google was quoted saying in response to the report.

The purpose of its inquiry "is to establish whether processing of personal data carried out at each stage of an advertising transaction is in compliance with the relevant provisions of the GDPR, IANS reported quoting the Data Protection Commission.

"The GDPR principles of transparency and data minimisation, as well as Googles retention practices, will also be examined," it had said.

Google fined $170 million for violating kids privacy

Google agreed to pay a USD 170 million fine to settle charges that it illegally collected and shared data from children on its YouTube video service without consent of parents.

The Federal Trade Commission, in a sweeping complaint, state and federal regulators alleged Google knew that some channels on YouTube were popular among young viewers and tracked kids' viewing habits for the purpose of serving them targeted ads, ultimately raking in "close to $50 million" from just a short list of channels that violated federal children's privacy laws.

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