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  • France: Activists Demand Google Pay €1000 for Privacy Violation

    | Photo: Reuters

Published 26 June 2019

Consent boxes presented to clients are already completed and carefully “camouflaged” within the forms, which violates the General Regulation on Data Protection, the UFC-Que Choisir said.

A French organization, the UFC-Que Choisir, is launching a class action case against Google, demanding 1000 euros in compensation for violation of privacy laws, the UFC-Que Choisir (a consumer association) said Wednesday.

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The lawsuit was submitted to the Court of Great Instance in Paris this week after organization members alleged that the U.S. company is openly exploiting “the personal data of its illegally collected users,” by foregoing the need to obtain “real consent.”

For android users, it is mandatory to set up a Google account in order to download applications and fully access their devices. However, many of the consent boxes presented to clients are already completed and carefully “camouflaged” within the forms, which violates the General Regulation on Data Protection, the UFC-Que Choisir said.

In a statement, the UFC-Que Choisir noted without client’s explicit consent, smartphones transmit the user’s geolocation roughly 340 times daily, despite the thousand-word essays written outlining the company’s code of confidentiality.

"When they collect the data, they have to be able to tell you what they are going to be used for, what treatment they are going to be given and, in a simple way, you must be able to say yes or no to each reason," the president of UFC-Que Choisir, Alain Bazot, told the radio station "France Info,” adding, “everything is done so that you are not aware of the data that you have left."

The 1000-euro-compensation is for the “massive and continuous nature” of the privacy violation and follows a recent fine imposed by the French National Commission for Computing and Liberties in January of 50 million euros for the "lack of transparency, incorrect information and lack of valid consent in personalized advertising."

The organization is aware that its battle will be “long” and "it will be necessary to wait many years to obtain a final decision." However, after numerous attempts at reaching an “amicable agreement” with Google, the class action lawsuit is necessary to uphold the rights of consumers and to combat the abuse of large corporations.

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