Google Faces New EU Complaints Over Privacy

Consumer groups in Europe have filed complaints against Google for using “deceptive design, unclear language and misleading choices” in its sign-up process, the European Consumer Organization (BEUC) said in a press release.

“Contrary to what Google claims about protecting consumers’ privacy, tens of millions of Europeans have been placed on a fast track to surveillance when they signed up to a Google account,” said BEUC deputy director Ursula Pachl.

Europe’s GDPR rules are supposed to make it easy to choose settings that protect your privacy, but Google violates that principal when you create an account, it claims. It also emphasizes that having a Google account is a must for the Android users if they want to get apps from Google Play.

Signup is the critical point at which Google makes users indicate their ‘choices’ about how their Google account will operate. With only one step, the consumer activates all the account settings that feed Google’s surveillance activities. Google does not provide consumers with the option to turn all settings ‘off’ in one click,” the BEUC wrote.

If you do want more privacy-friendly options, you have to use manual personalization involving “five steps with nine clicks and grappling with information that is unclear, complete and misleading,” it added.

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