GDPR complaints against Google’s deceptive practices to track user location

BEUC NEWS - 27.11.2018

Based on new published today  by BEUC’s Norwegian member Forbrukerrådet, seven consumer groups are filing complaints against Google with their national data protection authorities.


Location data can reveal a lot about people, including religious beliefs (going to places of worship), political leanings (going to demonstrations), health conditions (regular hospital visits) and sexual orientation (visiting certain bars).

The 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.

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.

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The consumer organisations participating in the action are: 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. 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. The Transatlantic Consumer Dialogue will bring it to the attention of the Federal Trade Commission.