Google targeted new privacy complaints from EU consumer groups


Google has been targeted by a French consumer group and its colleagues for filing complaints with data protection officials over its vast amount of users’ personal data collected through their Google accounts, European consumer organization BEUC said on Thursday.

In addition to the French consumer group, others in Greece, the Czech Republic, Norway and Slovenia have lodged their complaints with their data protection authorities, BEUC said.

It said the German consumer protection agency had sent a letter to Google, a unit of Alphabet, that could lead to a civil lawsuit, while consumer protection agencies in the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden had written to their data protection authorities, alerting them to Google’s practices.

BEUC said the problem was the sign-up process for Google accounts.

“The language Google uses at each step of the registration process is unclear, incomplete and misleading,” the group said.

“Google also presents the more privacy-friendly options as missing out on benefits.

“This prevents consumers from making an informed decision when making their choice and leads to unfair, non-transparent and unlawful processing of their personal data,” it said.

According to Google, users can choose from several options when registering a Google account.

“These options are clearly labeled and designed to be easy to understand. We’ve based them on extensive research and guidance from DPAs (data protection authorities) and feedback from testers. We’re committed to making sure those choices are clear and simple,” a spokesperson said.

Google fined more than €8 billion by EU antitrust authorities

Some of the authorities complained to their data protection officers about Google’s tracking of users four years ago, but have so far taken no action. With their latest complaints they want to increase the pressure on the regulators. Google targeted new privacy complaints from EU consumer groups

Fry Electronics Team

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