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Consumer groups accuse Google of espionage

Seven European consumer organizations blame Google for spying for Android users with a geographic location.

If you have an Android smartphone, you may have enabled Google's geolocation feature to use specific services related to your location. But do you know exactly what the Wen giant does with this data? It's easy: Sign in to your Google Account and see Google Maps in your history. You may be surprised to find on a map, in full motion and in your positions, with a huge hourly accuracy, and that over several days, weeks or months… Clear If you've turned on Location History, Google knows where you are and when. And keep it all in memory, of course …

In contrast to this traceability, seven European consumer associations are nowadays growing., Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, Poland, Greece, the Czech Republic and Slovenia. This is a study conducted by the Norwegian Society for the discovery of powder indicating it Google used "manipulation methods" to encourage Android device users to enable tracking and location features through location history as well as on the web and apps.

According to the Office of the European Consumers' Union (BEUC), which brings together seven associations, These features allow Google to collect a lot of private information for your users: during the course of the course, of course, real, but also of the places where they are often encountered, and by collecting and analyzing data, their interests and habits. What to produce very detailed "portraits", including, apart from religious beliefs, political slurs or sexual orientation, among many other things. In short, Big Brother, who would not say his name. But, most importantly, this is what motivates the accusations of the associations practices that fully comply with the General Data Protection Regulation, the famous RGPD, came into force on May 25 to protect private users of European users.

Google is defending itself by arguing that these tracking features are disabled by default – which is true – and that every user can set or delete the collected data using his personal account, which is also true. the company also points out that these explicitly explained features are primarily intended to improve user experience, for example by providing personalized services and localizing information such as traffic. However: for consumer associations, this process is misleading and many users agree that they are constantly tracked without real understanding. Not to mention that Disabling tracking and location features do not let Google know where to save your location smartphones for users.

At present, associations are calling for a regulators' survey. but it is entirely possible that their actions will lead to complaints and litigation. This would lead to a recall or change in these supervisory functions as well as a fine. A thing to follow closely, especially since it touches on privacy in many of us …

Illustration: © CCM-Google

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