Google sign-up a ‘fast track to surveillance’, consumer groups say
A group of ten consumer organisations in Europe have joined forces to take legal action against Google over the way customers to sign up for accounts.
Many of Google’s goods and services require you to have an account in order to utilise them.
However, the coalition asserts that the registration procedure directs users toward choices that gather more data.
Google stated that it appreciated the chance to discuss the issue with consumer activists.
The business claimed that sincerity and transparency were necessary for gaining the trust of customers and that it had bet “our future success on establishing ever simpler, more accessible controls and providing people with clearer choices.”
The coalition’s coordinator, the European Consumer Organisation (BEUC), asserts that Google’s registration language is “unclear, incomplete, and deceptive,” which causes many customers to choose less privacy-friendly choices.
Because of this, according to BEUC, “tens of millions of Europeans have been put on a fast track to surveillance when they signed up for a Google account.”
The consumer group thinks the crucial moment is when Google asks consumers to select how their account will function during sign-up.
However, it claims that using the simplest one-step “express personalization” procedure results in account settings for customers that “fuel Google’s monitoring activities.”
Additionally, the consumer group claims that consumers cannot switch all settings “off” with a single click on Google.
Platforms must provide users with privacy by default and design in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) of the EU.
Google, however, insists that all options are properly labelled and created to be understandable and simple to use.
According to the company, they are founded on in-depth analysis, regulatory recommendations, and testing.
Members of the BEUC from the Czech Republic, Norway, Greece, France, and Slovenia have complained to their country’s data protection authorities about Google’s compliance with the GDPR, and organisations from Sweden, Denmark, and the Netherlands have written to their own authorities to express their concerns.
Google has received a letter of caution from the Federation of German Consumer Organizations.