iOS Google Maps May Break EU Data Protection Laws by Auto-Ticking a Little Box

By Gary Cutlack on at

The popular iOS version of Google Maps might be about to get Google in trouble with European privacy enforcers, thanks to the way it assumes you're OK with sharing your whereabouts by default.

The worries come from the Independent Centre for Privacy Protection, which told Computerworld that Google is violating European data protection laws in one very simple way -- by having the iOS mapping app set to share location data activated by default.

Launch Google's iOS Maps app for he first time and it'll give you the usual lecture about sending back anonymous user data, with Google ticking the little tickbox automatically. That's a bad thing. That's Google making assumptions and breaking the law, apparently.

And while Google claims it only sends anonymous data back to its servers, data protection experts claim that can't be true, and that even anonymous location data counts as personal data under Euro laws. They're not happy. [Ars]