Google In Privacy Flap With Germans Over New iOS Maps

According to a report in Computerworld, Google has violated German data protection and privacy rules with its new Google Maps app for the iPhone. When users install the app and agree to the terms and conditions there’s a check box that authorizes Google to collect “anonymous” user location data.

The fact that this box is an opt-out (rather than an opt-in) violates German privacy regulations, which require “informed consent” where personal data collection is involved.

The fix is obviously easy for Google: simply uncheck the box as the default.

Yet the likelihood that people will opt-in is relatively small. Accordingly, the volume of data that Google would be able to collect under an opt-in regime in places like Germany (and perhaps elsewhere in Europe) would thus be greatly reduced.

Related Topics: Channel: Mobile | Google: Legal | Google: Maps & Local | Google: Mobile | Google: Outside US | Legal: Privacy | Legal: Regulation


About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

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