It looks like the European Union and Google could be getting quite familiar again, following a sizeable fine being imposed on the tech firm for Android antitrust violations last year. The bone of contention this time around is Google’s data collection practices, and in particular how it gathers ad and search data.

This follows a statement being shared with Reuters by the EU’s commission, in which it noted that it would be conducting a preliminary investigation.

The precise parameters of the investigation have not been officially disclosed, but a recently leaked document obtained by Reuters says that it is looking at Google’s local search, ads, ad targeting, sign-in services and web browsers. As such it appears as if the EU is peaking under the hood of many of Google’s core businesses.

Engadget has reached out to Google on the subject, but at this stage the firm has not said anything. The publication does note that, in the past, Google has stood steady on its data collection practices, explaining that they are designed to improve user experiences, as well as giving them the ability to control and delete said data.

While we’ll need to take Google’s word on the last part, this isn’t the first that the way in which the company collects and handles data will come under scrutiny.

It should also be added that an antitrust fine like the aforementioned Android one is not on the cards just yet either, as the findings of the preliminary investigation will determine this.

Regardless 2020 could see Google come under the spotlight once again.

For now there has no mention of when the investigation will be completed.

[Image – Photo by Arthur Osipyan on Unsplash]