European consumer groups have accused Google of violating online privacy by tricking users into blindly logging into a Google account so that their data is tracked and exploited for profit.
Last week, Google’s registration process came under fire from consumer rights groups in the European Union, who filed new privacy complaints. Complaint alleges Google intentionally designs default settings to mislead new users and get them to allow the collection and sharing of a wide range of personal information.
These claims are filed under EU GDPR rules, a European data privacy regulation that aims to ensure that the personal data of Europeans is not misused. The group notably accuses Google of using ” misleading design, unclear language and misleading choices in its registration process.
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Complaint about Google’s registration process
” Contrary to what Google claims about consumer privacy, tens of millions of Europeans were put on the fast track to surveillance when they opened a Google Account said Ursula Pachl, Deputy Director of BEUC (European Consumers’ Organization).
Indeed, for BEUC and its members, it is much too complicated to personalize their registration, since they have to follow nearly 5 steps and 10 clicks to enter a manual registration process, supposed to be more transparent with users about the data they share. However, the information provided as part of this manual registration is unclear, leading consumers to make choices without a transparent understanding of how their personal data will be processed.
Google is accused of not offering no option to disable tracking altogether. The entire process is branded as sleazy and opaque, and used for purposes that only benefit Google. However, Google regularly assures that it “protects your privacy”. The American company strongly rejects the accusation that the options presented are unclear, pointing out that they were designed based on extensive research and feedback from website testers.