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Ireland's data privacy watchdog opens probes into Google and Tinder

Under GDPR, the companies could face hefty fines.
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Wachiwit via Getty Images

Ireland's Data Protection Commission (DPC) has opened two separate GDPR investigations into Google and Tinder. In the case of the latter, the agency says it will examine how the dating app handles people's data and whether it's been transparent about the process.

The DPC says it will also look into whether Tinder has been properly meeting data requests from users. Under GDPR, Europeans have several options when it comes to how companies handle their data. They can, for instance, ask an app or service to delete their data. The law also allows people to request copies of their personal information.

The investigation into Tinder comes after the Norwegian Consumer Council published a report that accused Tinder, alongside several other dating apps, for irresponsibly spreading sensitive user data. Notably, the DPC says it's opening its investigation into Tinder after it received complaints from people in both Ireland and other parts of the European Union.

As for Google, the DPC will investigate how the search giant handles and processes location data. Numerous European consumer rights groups started asking the agency to investigate Google shortly after the EU enacted GDPR. Both Tinder and Google have said they'll cooperate with the probes.

"People should be able to understand and control how companies like Google use location data to provide services to them," a Google spokesperson told TechCrunch. "We will cooperate fully with the office of the Data Protection Commission in its inquiry, and continue to work closely with regulators and consumer associations across Europe. In the last year, we have made a number of product changes to improve the level of user transparency and control over location data."

As CNET notes, if the regulator finds Google and Tinder haven't been fully compliant with GDPR, they could face fines of up to four percent of their total annual revenue in the previous year. As of this past January, the EU has imposed approximately $126 million in GDPR-related fines.

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