Complaint against Google in European Commission about violation of data laws
Complaint against Google in European Commission about violation of data laws

Complaint against Google in European Commission about violation of data laws

Google is again facing data processing-related allegations, as consumer protection agencies from 5 European nations have formally complained to the European Commission against the tech giant.

According to European Consumer Organisation (BEUC), the complaint forwarded by member nations claims that various signup processes requested by Google when a new user tries to access several services are a violation of data protection regulations.

European Union Commission HQ
European Union Commission HQ

The complaint specifically mentioned the violation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which is a law in the European Union regarding data privacy and protection of data in the European Union and European Economic Area.

Allegations against Google

According to the complaint, when a new user tries to enter a website, google pushes an ” accept all” option for permission and settings related to data collection. These messages are supposed to warn the new users about how their data could be used if they sign up for the new service.

While there is an “accept-all” option, there is no “deny-all” option, which, according to the complaint, hides from users how would their data be used if they do not sign up.

Inconvenient optioning along with unclear and vast descriptions of data usage and permissions makes it hard for a user to understand clearly which all data could be collected and how it could be used and processed.

This, according to the complaint, is a clear violation of provisions of GDPR.

Another allegation against Google is that it is storing and processing data for more than the necessary time for giving users access to Google services. This is also in violation of data protection laws and data processing regulations.

Apart from the European commission, consumer rights agencies of various nations have informed other commissions such as the Federal Trade Commission in the United States of America regarding how Google is violating various data and privacy laws.

Process of investigation against google

It all started in 2018 when several members of The European Consumers Organisations filed a complaint regarding how google was violating multiple provisions in GDPR regarding location tracking data processing.

After months of delay in processing the complaint, the formal investigation  against google began in February 2020 under Article 60 of the GDPR and Section 110 of the Data Protection 2018

Even though members of BEUC expressed their concerns regarding excessive delay in investigation, the investigation team informed the media that they hope to forward the investigation report to the commission in the coming months.

If the allegations are found true by European Commission and investigation team, Google would be liable to pay hefty fines.