Second Alleged Google GDPR Breach Investigated

Sweden data

Google has been accused of using deceptive design, misleading information and repeated pushing to manipulate users.

Swedish authorities are investigating alleged GDPR breaches by Google, less than a week after the search giant was hammered with a 50 million euro fine in France.

Swedish regulator Datainspektionen (Data Inspectorate) is examining how Google has been collecting the location data of Android users, following a complaint by the Sveriges Konsumenter (Swedish Consumer Association) linked to allegations in an previous report by Forbrukerrådet (the Norwegian Consumer Council).

Rule compliance

One aspect of the Datainspektionen’s mandate is to monitor and ensure that those who collect and use personal data comply with the rules in the GDPR.

Data Inspector General Lena Lindgren Schelin said: “This is a complaint that is highlighted by several European consumer organisations and which potentially affects a large number of people. Therefore, we want to investigate this to ensure that Google has complied with the rules in the data protection regulation.”

The regulator added: “In summary, the complainant holds that the way Google provides itself access to the location data of users of its mobile operative system Android by ways of its so called ‘Location History’ and ‘Web & App Activity’ is in breach of the GDPR.

“According to the complainant, the report by Forbrukerrådet states that Google use deceptive design, misleading information and repeated pushing to manipulate users into allowing constant tracking of their movements. In essence, the complainant holds that the processing of location data in this way is unlawful and that Google is in violation of Articles 5, 6, 7, 12, 13 and 25 of the GDPR.”

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In its supervisory letter to Google, the Data Inspectorate lists a number of issues that the company must answer, including why Google processed user information, how Google informed users of this processing, an explanation for why consent was valid, and a response to claims it used “design patterns” to encourage consent. Google has been given until 1st of February to respond to its questions.



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