Consumer rights groups in Europe have filed a new series of privacy complaints against Google — accusing the advertising giant of deceptive design around the account creation process that they say steers users into agreeing to extensive and invasive processing of their data.
The tech giant profiles account holders for ad targeting purposes — apparently relying on user consent as its legal basis. But the EU’s flagship data protection law, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), bakes in a requirement for privacy by design and default, as well as setting clear conditions around how consent must be gathered for it to be lawful.
Hence the consumer groups’ beef — if deceptive design by Google is tricking users into accepting its tracking.
They argue the design choices the tech giant deploys around account creation make it far easier for users to agree to Google’s processing of their information to target them with “personalized” ads than to deny consent to its profiling of them for behavioral advertising.