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EU: EC investigates Apple’s GDPR compliance

 |  July 3, 2019

Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) announced that it has launched a third privacy investigation into Apple.

The tech giant’s main regulator in the European Union (EU) stated it is looking into whether Apple has complied with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) privacy law regarding an access request from a customer. Under GDPR, regulators can hit companies that do not comply with the regulations with fines of up to 4% of a company’s global revenue or €20 million (US$22 million), whichever is higher.

Last year, the DPC opened an investigation into how Apple processes users’ personal data for targeted advertising on its platform and whether its privacy policy on how that data is processed is transparent enough. The agency currently has 20 investigations into tech companies open, with Facebook in the lead with eight individual probes and with two into its WhatsApp subsidiary and one into Instagram.

In addition, Twitter is under three different investigations, while Google, Microsoft-owned LinkedIn, and US digital advertising company Quantcast each have one probe.

Despite the scrutiny, Apple CEO Tim Cook called on the US government last year to embrace privacy laws similar to the EU. He said it was time “for the rest of the world” to take a page from the EU, and create a comprehensive framework to protect the personal information of consumers.

“We are in support of a comprehensive federal privacy law in the US,” he said at the time, adding that internet companies could abuse the personal data of consumers, for they know the person better than themselves. “This is surveillance, and these stockpiles of personal data only enrich the companies that collect them. This should make us uncomfortable, and unsettle us.”

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