Recently, Google has received seven GDPR complaints from data protection authorities in the following EU countries:
– Czech Republic
They are accusing the company of tracking their users’ location despite them not giving their consent. Allegedly, Google has been using deceptive practices that are not in line with GDPR, including:
- Hiding default settings
Upon creating a Google account, users are tricked into having the default settings enabled, unaware of the fact they can change them by clicking on ‘more options’.
- Misleading information
The clearly visible information only notes the positive examples of what the setting entails and trivialises the extent of what is truly going on.
- Deceptive click-flow
Location History is not enabled by default. However, the click-flow is structured and presented in such a way that users are compelled to enable it.
- Repeated alerts
Moreover, Google goes to great lengths to keep pestering the users to enable Location History. Android device users, for example, need to decline this up to four times.
- Certain services take away your freedom of choice
Enabling Location History is a prerequisite for being able to use certain services such as Google Photos Places and Google Assistant.
- Always-on settings
When you enable Location History on an Android device, it always stays running in the background. The problematic aspect of this is the fact that it stays on even when the user is not using a service that requires location tracking.