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Consumer groups across Europe file complaints against Google for breach of GDPR

Holiday Special, 17 December 2018 Issue

On November 27, seven consumer groups members of BEUC are filing complaints against Google with their national data protection authorities. These complaints are based on new research published by the Norwegian consumer council, Forbrukerrådet, which look at how Google continuously tracks the location of its users through a number of different technologies.

Location data can reveal a lot about people, including religious and political beliefs, health conditions and sexual orientation. The report shows that Google uses various tricks and practices to ensure users enable these tracking features and does not give them straightforward information about what this effectively entails.

According to consumer organisations, these practices are not compliant with the GDPR, as Google lacks a valid legal ground for processing the data in question. In particular, the report shows that users’ consent provided under these circumstances is not freely given.

As a result, Forbrukerrådet (Norway), Consumentenbond (The Netherlands), Ekpizo (Greece), dTest (Czech Republic), Zveza Potrošnikov Slovenije (Slovenia), Federacja Konsumentów (Poland) and Sveriges Konsumenter (Sweden) will file complaints with their data protection authorities. In addition, Forbrugerrådet Tænk (Denmark) will report these practices to the Danish data protection body. vzbv from Germany is considering an action for an injunction against Google because of these practices. Finally, The Transatlantic Consumer Dialogue will bring it to the attention of the Federal Trade Commission.

Read more about this news here.

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