The EU is going to advise, this month, that location data must be kept absolutely private.
It follows the Apple fiasco – which was a feature and a bug at the same time – and Google’s Android platform, where both operating systems retained user location data. Apple’s phones felt the needed to hold onto it a little longer.
It’ll be published by the alliance of European national regulators, reports the Wall Street Journal.
User’s location data will be treated the same as other personal data such as birthdays, full names, email addresses and similar. Companies will also be ordered to acquire clear consent from their users, which they probably won’t like one bit.
Companies will have to completely anonymise all location data and promise to delete it after a stretch of time rather than keep it knocking about.
Transparency has to be a good thing.
Technology outfits argue that location data is vital to some services – with Google recently saying, essentially: “If you use a location service, we need to use your location, duh.”
Google claims its location services on Android already use anonymised data and expressly asks for a user’s consent.