Google Confronting Numerous GDPR Complaints because of Location Tracking

November 29, 2018


A group of European Union-based consumer regulators has submitted data secrecy compliant, under the new General Data Protection Regulation, against Google in the belief that the firm is using ways to note web users’ places for ad-targeting campaigns which are violating the data secrecy law.

As per GDPR rules data processing approval should be provided by the individual in a way which is precise, informed and freely provided. The group thinks that this, in relation to Google is not the case. The group started the GDPR grievance after an inquiry by the Associated Press found that a number of Google facilities running on Android and Apple appliances determine the user’s place and save it although the user does not have Google’s “Location History” setting enabled.

Among the complainants is the Norwegian Consumer Council. The acting head of this group, Gro Mette Moen, said in a declaration: “When we carry our phones, Google is noting where we go, down to which floor we are on and how we are moving. This can be united with other information concerning us, such as what we search for, and what websites we visit. Such info can, in turn, be used for things such as targeted publicizing meant to affect us when we are receptive or weak.”

If Google is found to be culpable of these charges it faces the possibility of a huge penalty, under the GDPR, as high as €20m or 4% of yearly international income.

Replying to the grievances and charges a Google representative said: “Location History is turned off by default, and you can change, erase, or stop it at any time. If it is on, it assists improve facilities like expected traffic on your travel. If you stop it, we make clear that – depending on your personal phone and app settings – we might still save and use location data to increase your Google experience. We are continuously working to improve our controls, and we’ll be reading this statement meticulously to see if there are things we can take on board.”

This is just the latest in several grievances that have been recorded against Google since the launch of GDPR on May 25 this year. Other grievances have resulted in the Google social media platform Google+ being discontinued, a GDPR grievance submitted by Internet browser Brave and the Internet titan was also included in a number of other GDPR grievances. Google is not on its own when it comes to managing grievances like this. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have also been hit with a number of grievances recorded with different data authorities all over the European Union.