Google Could Face More Legal Action in Europe Over Activity and Location Tracking
It’s been a tough year for Google in Europe, and it doesn’t look to be getting any better. Earlier this year, the company was slapped with a $5 billion antitrust fine by the EU Commission earlier this year. As a result, they begin charging OEMs for Google services and even tailor-made a custom Google Assistant for devices that opt out of using GApps. Earlier this year, Google was in trouble for its location and activity tracking practices in the US.
Consumer groups in the Netherlands, Poland, Czech Republic, Greece, Slovenia, and Sweden and Norway are now looking to take hold the company accountable for shady tracking practices based on a report alleging that Google unfairly encourages users to enable location and web/app activity settings which against the recently enacted GPDR rules.
Google may have tricked users into giving out location data
According to a spokesperson from the European Consumer Organisation (BEUC), “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.”
If it’s judged as a breach of GDPR, the company could face yet another fine of up to 4% of global revenues. Google responded by saying that “Location History is turned off by default, and you can edit, delete, or pause it at any time. We’re constantly working to improve our controls, and we’ll be reading this report closely to see if there are things we can take on board.”
At this time, it is too early to speculate if EU regulators will do anything about these complaints. But, given their track record, they certainly won’t go easy on the Mountain View tech giant. Several tech companies are already at loggerheads with the EU parliament over the proposed Article 11 and 13 regulations that could reshape the way we look at the internet.