No, antitrust regulators in Europe still are not done probing Google’s methods. The European Commission claimed to the media in an interview that it is performing a “preliminary probe” into data collection by Google. While it did not go into detail, a leaked paper showed that the aims were on ads (comprising targeting of ad), local search, web browsers, and sign-in services, amongst “others.” It is covering the base of businesses by Google, to put it different way.
We have asked Google for answer. Earlier, it clarified that it employed data to enhance its offerings and offered consumers controls to delete and manage their data.
A probe does not essentially assure the EU will file an antitrust case. On the other hand, executives have earlier fined Google with more than €8 Billion (almost $8.8 Billion) in penalties over accusations of anti-competitive Android policies, restrictive ad contracts, and same blames. It would not be surprising if the Commission discovered problems with data gathering methods by Google, particularly when national watchdogs have already penalized Google for supposed GDPR breaches.
On a related note, Facebook might be looking further than the next year’s election, but it is still sweeping up dirt from 2016. Earlier, Facebook approved to pay the UK’s ICO) almost $644,000 (£500,000) for its role in the Cambridge Analytica scam. As fraction of the agreement, Facebook will not confess to any unlawful activity.
The penalty was first launched in July last year, but Facebook appealed the verdict. It claimed that the ICO must be needed to share the contents that resulted in its decision and that the ICO’s supposed prejudice must be considered. After few months, the ICO appealed the appeal by Facebook. Now, both parties have decided to end their appeals. Facebook will pay the penalty, but it will make “no admission of guilt.”