European Union Privacy Advisors Conclude Geolocation is Personal – and Private

by Mercator Advisory Group 0

The gap between the prevailing American regulatory view of privacy rights and the prevailing European view continues to widen. Clearly, European regulators have been irritated by the recent revelations of unauthorized location data capture by smartphones of multiple varieties.

“Location data is certainly, in many instances, private data, and there then follows the obligations to inform users, and the opportunity to opt in or opt out,” Peter Hustinx, Europe’s Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) and member of the working group, told IDG News Service in a PCWorld article.

In the U.S., app developers, loyalty and rewards providers, fraud detection services, and any number of other categories of companies have already latched on to the potential value of location data and assumed their right to collect that data. Those with global or multinational marketing plans (including financial firms) need to increase their awareness of European Union’s Data Protection Directive, and begin to exercise more caution.

Some very big names in the tech world have blithely ignored existing European regulations, and as a result, will be facing regulatory discipline and consumer-driven lawsuits in Europe in the relatively near future.

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