European Union governments have pushed the bloc’s stringent data privacy rules to their limits by tapping the biggest telecom and tech companies for data to tackle the coronavirus outbreak.
Wireless companies such as Vodafone and Deutsche Telekom have shared mobile phone location data to show users’ movements and gauge the effectiveness of lockdowns in certain areas. Google is looking at how to assist with the data from users who allow location sharing, and on Thursday published over 100 country-specific reports showing how mass movements have changed in the last month.
All this is happening against the backdrop of the bloc’s General Data Protection Regulation, which is among the strictest of such laws in the world. Overstepping it can cost companies as much as 4% of their global annual revenue. read more