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    IDG News: Location Data Is Personal and Private Confirms EU Watchdog

    UPDATE: Here’s the geo-location document.

    IDG News reports on a new opinion document approved by the Article 29 Working Party; the document says that geo-location data is considered privacy information.

    The opinion, which was approved by the Article 29 Working Party on Monday, looked at developments in mobile technology and the current legal framework around them and makes recommendations.

    “Location data is certainly, in many instances, private data, and there then follows the obligations to inform users, and the opportunity to opt in or opt out,” Peter Hustinx, Europe’s Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) and member of the working group, told IDG News Service.

    Private or personal data receives a much higher level of protection under the E.U.’s Data Protection Directive than anonymous data. This directive is currently under review by the European Commission and reforms are due to be announced later this year. If the Commission accepts the working group’s recommendations, geo-location could be included in the law. […]

    But Hustinx pointed out that there are many parties involved in this issue — there’s the provider, the apps provider, the infrastructure and so on. The Article 29 Working Party is made up of data protection regulators from the 27 member countries of the E.U. and is independent of the Commission. It will make the full text of its opinion public on its website later this week.

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