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Google Maps for iOS breaches privacy

by on17 December 2012

European watchdog barks

It appears that the fact that Apple fanboys are now allowed to downlad Google Maps has not impressed everyone.

The Independent Centre for Privacy Protection in Schleswig-Holstein in Germany is concerned about the app's location data sharing which is switched on by default. The organisation's deputy privacy and information commissioner, Marit Hansen said Google Map’s for iOS violates European data protection law.

He said that Apple users are warned that anonymous location data will be collected by Google's location service and sent to Google, and may be stored on your device. But this implies that Google has already made the decision to agree for you and you have to "accept & continue."

Hansen said that Google's use of "anonymous" was misleading as all available information points to having linkable identifiers per user. Google can track several location entries, thus leading to her assumption that Google's "anonymous location data" would be considered "personal data" under the European law.

Apple of course is a winner out of this. Not only would any controversy over its own Apple Maps software, which could not find Jobs’ Mob’s own stores fade away, but rival Google will be in hotwater for accurately telling its customers were to go.

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