Apple and Google smartphones may come under tighter regulation in Europe after a data protection panel ruled that data on the location of their users should be classed as private, the “Financial Times” reports (

The proposals by the panel, which advises the European Commission, are a first step to formulating a law on mobile phone location data, and could be written into Europe’s revised Data Protection Directive this year, the article adds. The panel said companies should get permission from smartphone users before collecting user-location data and should specify what purpose the data are being used for.