The European Commission has launched a "preliminary investigation" into how Facebook and Google are collecting personal data to track what are they being used for, AFP reported on Monday December 2nd.
According to Commission spokeswoman, "The Commission has sent out questionnaires as part of a preliminary investigation into Google's and Facebook's data practices. These investigations concern the way data is gathered, processed, used and monetised including for advertising purposes."
Google has been falling under scrutiny for years over the usage of its data relating to local search services, online advertising, online ad targeting services, login services, web browsers and more, according to Business Insider.
Facebook is facing similar investigations worldwide too, according to vice president Nick Clegg, who was asked about the probe during a press conference in Brussels.
Clegg warned EU regulators against letting themselves get misled by faulty reasoning when it comes to data usage.
"This phrase you often hear that data is oil is deeply unhelpful because data is nothing like oil," he said.
"For data-intensive companies like FB, we would urge regulators and legislators not to be trapped by analogue parallels which don't apply to the digital world," he added.
Google has promised to continue engaging with the Commission and others on this important discussion to find a solution.
European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager has warned that she would monitor companies that collect and use data such as Facebook and Google.
However, at a conference in Lisbon earlier this month, she praised Twitter, confirming that "Twitter's statement is still not the end of the story, you still have other issues like bots and so on, but it's an important step forward because the company states its values."
Vestager was appointed by the European Union to rein in the tech sector over the next five years, hitting Google with three major fines for abusing its market position.