Google illegally tracks Android users, accuses European group

On Wednesday (7), the European Center for Digital Rights (NOYB), a nonprofit organization based in Vienna, Austria, in a statement, accused Google of violating rules related to Internet business practices on the Internet. European Union (EU) and to track Android users illegally.

According to activist Max Schrems, at the head of the institution, the company installs an advertising identifier on devices that rely on the operating system without the public’s knowledge – collecting data not voluntarily assigned.

Also according to NOYB, the “somewhat hidden” tool tracks devices and combines information about the owner’s online and mobile behavior, creating a kind of identity card similar to a license plate.

This in turn would allow both the search giant and third parties to draw up consumer preferences and provide personalized advertising – a practice regulated by the commercial block’s so-called “Cookie Law”, which requires “informed and unambiguous consent” from “targets” .

“The company neglects this legal requirement,” claims the group. “NOYB, therefore, has filed a complaint.” The problems do not stop there.

Company violates guidelines of the economic bloc, points out complaint.Company violates guidelines of the economic bloc, points out complaint.Source: reproduction

Colored powder

According to the complaint, the installation of the tracker not only occurs in a hidden way, but also denies the user the option of exclusion. “As we verified in our previous complaint filed in Austria, users can simply ‘reset’ the ID and are forced to generate a new tracking ID to replace the existing one. This does not delete the data that was collected before or interrupt the tracking in the future . “

Stefano Rossetti, NOYB’s lawyer, exemplifies the question: “Imagine having a colored powder on your feet and in your hands that marks every step and action, that is, everything you touch within the mobile ecosystem. In fact, you cannot remove it just change it to a different color. That’s what the Android Advertising ID is all about. ” Rossetti also claims that almost all users appear to have been affected by the feature – about 306 million people in the European Union.

Operational system "brand" actions without consent.Operating system “marks” actions without consent.Source: reproduction

Finally, the organization argues that the French National Computer and Freedom Commission, to which the action was directed, can take a decision without depending on the cooperation of other EU authorities, since the complaint is based on the privacy directive electronics. “The amount of the sanction can be substantial”, he highlights.

“A few months ago, we filed similar complaints against the other market leader, Apple, for similar reasons,” concludes the statement.

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