The complaints cited a study by the Norwegian Consumer Council that found the Internet giant used “deceptive design and misleading information, which results in users accepting to be constantly tracked.”
Council official Gro Mette Moen said “Google uses extremely detailed and comprehensive personal data without an appropriate judicial basis, and the data is acquired by means of manipulative techniques.”
Complaints against Google were filed in the Czech Republic, Greece, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Slovenia and Sweden, and are all based on the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation.
The new law went into effect in May.
The complaints allege that Google tracks device Location History and other information using applications, which are built into almost everything an Android phone includes.
“For users of mobile phones with Android (operating systems), such as Samsung and Huawei phones, this tracking is particularly difficult to avoid,” the Norwegian council stated.
According to Statcounter, almost 70 percent of European mobile phones run on the Android system, and the number is higher worldwide.
“Location data can reveal a lot about a person: real time movements, frequently visited places, daily routines, interests, etc,” the Norwegian complaint stated.
“Constant location tracking and aggregation of location data over time can be used to build very detailed profiles of individuals and to infer religious beliefs, political leanings, and sexual orientation, among other things,” it added.
Monique Goyens, director general of The European Consumer Organization argued, “Google’s data hunger is notorious but the scale with which it deceives its users to track and monetize their every move is breathtaking.
“The situation is more than alarming. Smartphones are being used for spying on our every move.”
The Dutch organization Consumentenbond is demanding “this tracking must stop.”
Google responded by parroting the age-old line that “Location History is turned off by default, and you can edit, delete, or pause it at any time. If it’s on, it helps improve services like predicted traffic on your commute.
“If you pause it, we make clear that—depending on your individual phone and app settings—we might still collect and use location data to improve your Google experience.”
However, many people know and understand that Google is a massive data collector, and who knows if they actually turn off these tracking applications or not. Consumers only have their word.
If the U.S. can’t control these liberal monopolies, many people are glad that at least other countries are forcing Google to defend its practices.