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  • Google Accused of Using 'Various Tricks' to Track You.

    Google Accused of Using 'Various Tricks' to Track You. | Photo: Reuters

Published 27 November 2018

European consumer lobby BEUC says Google is violating privacy regulations by leading consumers to enable tracking mechanisms on their devices and could face hefty fines.

On Tuesday, European consumer groups complained that Google tracked movements of millions of users, which is in breach of privacy laws.

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The complaints against Google were filed at the national legislation of the Netherlands, Poland, Czech Republic, Greece, Norway, Slovenia, and Sweden.

The European Consumer Organization (BEUC) - a consumer lobby, reported that the tech giant led users to enable settings "location history" and "web and app activity," as tracking methods.

“These practices are not compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), as Google lacks a valid legal ground for processing the data in question.

In particular, the report shows that users’ consent provided under these circumstances is not freely given,” stated BEUC, representing the seven countries consumer groups.

GDPR regulation mandates fines for these type of violations, which in this specific case, could amount to four percent of global revenues for law-breakers.

In its defense, Google alleged the location settings are normally turned off and users are responsible for enabling them, according to the Irish Times. “We’re constantly working to improve our controls, and we’ll be reading this report closely to see if there are things we can take on board,” a Google spokesman said.

On the other hand, according to BEUC "[Google] uses various tricks and practices" to ensure users have features such as location history enabled" and does not give them straightforward information about what this effectively entails.”

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