Google Maps for iPhone Violates EU Privacy Laws

Google might be enjoying all the praise we’re heaping on Google Maps for iPhone, but hold on there buddy. The EU would like to have a little chat about privacy settings.

Oops.

Just in from ComputerWorld:

When the app is downloaded, Google prompts users to accept its terms of service and privacy policy in the startup screen. On the same screen, the Maps app warns users that they are about to share their location data with Google. “Help us improve Google, including traffic and other services. Anonymous location data will be collected by Google’s location service and sent to Google, and may be stored on your device,” Google tells users.

However, the option box next to the text is switched on by default, which isn’t allowed by European data protection law, said Marit Hansen, deputy privacy and information commissioner at the Independent Centre for Privacy Protection Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, in an email.

Source: Google Maps for iPhone violates European data protection law, German watchdog says

Ouch. Okay, Google will have to change that. Heck I don’t even remember seeing a check box (not that I read the T&Cs either). I guess there will have to be something to make it easier for people to opt out or opt in (as the EU requires) and not make things too complicated.

I guess someone will be noodling that now over at Google.

  • Matt

    Thanks. I just deleted and reinstalled, ensuring to uncheck the box this time!

  • IreadTheDirections

    Throw the baby out with the wash people! In the app touch on person top right corner, then the cog top right corner, then ‘about,terms & privacy’, then ‘terms & privacy, then ‘location data collection’ and turn it off.

  • picturepete

    And I thought Apple was policing the apps, maybe they should have highlighted this issue and not allowed the app to be put on.

  • starfall

    You can opt-out by going to profile->settings->location data collection