Google is the subject of its first GDPR investigation by the Irish Data Protection Commissioner (DCP), Reuters reports. It is the first major clash between the company and its main privacy regulator in Europe, which raises difficult questions about how the advertising giant handles personal data over the Internet.
The research will investigate how Google handles personal data at each stage of its advertising. tracking system. Those questions stem in part from a complaint filed by the browser company Brave in September, alleging that the Google ad auction system constituted a data breach according to the GDPR rules.
"Every time a person visits a website it shows a & # 39; behavior & # 39;" advertisement on a website, intimate personal data describing each visitor, and what they are viewing online, they are passed on to tens or hundreds of companies, "said policy chief Johnny Ryan, in a publication." A data breach occurs because this transmission, known as & # 39; bid request & # 39; in the online industry, it does not protect this intimate data against unauthorized access. "
Reached a comment, a Google representative defended the auction system and promised to cooperate with the probe." We will fully engage in research of the DPC and we would appreciate the opportunity to further clarify Europe's data protection rules for real-time bidding, "said the representative." Authorized buyers who use our systems are subject to strict policies and standards. "
Yes they are found guilty, the possible sanctions for Google would be huge, the GDPR authorizes fines as high as four percent of global annual revenues, which would add up to $ 5.4 billion in the case of Google, and even more damaging, the company would have to fundamentally remodel its ad system to avoid future fines.
The Irish Commissioner has been criticized for being too much friend able with Facebook and Google, which are headquartered in the country and are directly under its Jurisdiction under the GDPR rules. Approximately one year after the regulation went into effect, this is the first action that the DCP of Ireland has taken against any of the companies. Several groups have filed complaints against Google during that time, which has raised concerns about the location tracking and guidance systems of the company, among others.
Update 2:08 PM ET: Updated with Google's declaration. 19659009]