The European Union recently started investigating Google’s data collecting practices, but new reports indicate that Facebook will be investigated as well.
Technology companies like Google and Facebook survive thanks to advertising, and to be able to satisfy advertisers, they need their users’ information. This is something that is well-known, but also something that these firms have been getting into trouble for, time and time again.
Suspicious Practices Across the Board
In fact, their suspicious practices regarding data handling have even led to the EU investigation of Google. Now, according to new information, the EU plans to start investigating Facebook, as well.
— Reuters (@Reuters) December 3, 2019
The European Commission seems to have big problems with the way tech giants handle data collecting and monetization. A recent report by Reuters claims that the EU antitrust regulators recently started preliminary investigations of both firms’ data handling practices. The regulator is concerned about the way these firms gather, process, use, and monetize data, which includes advertising purposes.
It appears that the regulator is dedicating special attention to Facebook, more precisely — whether there are restrictions when it comes to data use by its partnering firms.
Data Is Not Oil, Says Facebook VP
Facebook has a history of collaborating with third parties that were not exactly known for decent practices when it comes to extracting and using user data. The Cambridge Analytica scandal is a clear proof of that,
Now, European Union officials worry about the massive amounts of data that tech firms are storing. Further, they worry whether this data might be used to hamper competitors.
The EU regulators are already investigating the company’s Marketplace service, trying to see the changes in which the classified ads market has changed in the last several years.
When asked about the investigation, Facebook VP Nick Clegg stated that regulators need to be careful not to get misled by a phrase that data is oil. According to MailOnline, he claimed that data is nothing like oil, as it doesn’t get sucked out of the earth and burned in a vehicle engine. Instead, it can be shared and kept at the same time. Such parallels do not apply to the digital world, and he believes that regulators must have that in mind.
What do you think about the investigation of Google and Facebook? Do you think that regulators are right to worry about how these firms handle user data? Let us know in the comments below.
Images are courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter, Pixabay.