Facebook’s gotten a lot of attention lately by legislators and regulators, but now the attention is shifting towards Google.
The Justice Department is focusing on advertising and search, but the exact focus is unclear according to the Washington Post. CNBC reports that investigation is about whether the tech company violated laws to ensure fair competition and claims that the tech company have preference to its own business interests in search results. That claim is one for which European Union investigator took Google to task.
Google’s also been under fire for the Senate Judiciary Committee over the company’s tracking and data collection practices. Senator Josh Hawley (R-Missouri) questioned Google reps about what he called a lack of transparency from the company in its practices. Hawley says Google collects information from Android users even they have turned location services off, allowing the phone to continue to gather personal information even when the phone isn’t being used.
“…you don’t allow consumers to stop your tracking of them. You tell them that you do, you would anticipate that they do, a consumer would have a reasonable expectation based on what you’ve told them that they’re not being tracked but in fact you’re still tracking it. You’re still gathering the information and you’re still using it.” – Sen. Josh Hawley
Google’s already facing a $57 million fine in the European Union for failing to properly disclose how data is collected to target ads. It’s the largest fine the EU has levied since putting into place stricter privacy regulations under GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). European regulators have been focused on Google’s parent company Alphabet for a while now. Google was also hit with a record $5.1 billion fine for anti-competitive claims the mobile phone market and $2.7 billion in an antitrust ruling.