Smartphones of Apple and Google are likely to face tighter regulation in Europe after a data protection panel ruled that location information collected by the devices should be classified as personal data, says a media report.
"Apple smartphones and those running on Google's Android system look set to come under tighter regulation in Europe, after an EU data protection advisory panel ruled on Wednesday that location information collected by the devices should be classed as personal data," the Financial Times reported.
This is likely to mean strict limits on how location data can be collected and stored by smartphone companies, telecom operators and any businesses hoping to run location-related services on phones, the report said.
The report said the proposals are a first step toward formulating a law on mobile phone location data and could be written into Europe's revised Data Protection Directive this year.
The panel said companies should get permission from smartphone users before collecting geographic information and should specify what purpose the data is being used for, it noted.
Apple is already facing questions in the US, Germany and South Korea over its collection of data that tracks the rough location of iPhone users.