Published: May 14, 2020 1:03:45 pm
Google faces a data-protection complaint from Austrian privacy activist Max Schrems amid concerns it unlawfully monitors users and passes on the “tracking ID” to advertisers.
Schrems’s campaign group Noyb on Wednesday filed a complaint with the Austrian data protection authority, accusing Google of tracking users of Android phones through a unique ID that “allows Google and countless third-parties to” monitor users.
The European Union’s strict data protection rules, in force since May 2018, require people’s consent before being tracked, the group said in a statement. Data regulators have the powers to levy fines of as much as 4 per cent of a company’s global annual sales for serious violations.
“Google does not collect valid ‘opt-in’ consent before generating the tracking ID, but seems to generate these IDs without user consent,” according to the statement.
“Android does not allow deleting the tracking ID. It only allows users to generate a new tracking ID to replace the existing tracking ID. This neither deletes the data that was collected before, nor stops tracking going forward.”
Google declined to comment.
The complaint comes as EU regulators grapple with the privacy implications of tracing technology designed by Google and Apple Inc. to monitor the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. Privacy advocates have backed their approach.
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