EU Privacy Advocates File French Complaint on Google’s ‘Tracking Code’ for Android Phones

This post was originally published on DP News

By Robert Bateman

European privacy advocates have got filed a complaint along with French regulators against Google’s “tracking code, ” that is installed on every Android gadget by default, allegedly in breach of EU privacy laws and regulations.

The Western Center for Digital Legal rights (None of Your Business — NOYB) said Google’s Marketing ID (AAID), an unique thread of characters assigned to each Android user, was like the “digital license plate” that will Google used to “build the rich profile about the consumer and their preferences plus behavior. ”

The particular complaint, filed last 30 days with France’s data limiter, the Commission nationale sobre l’ informatique et kklk libertés (CNIL), alleged that will installing AAID on consumer devices without consent broken an EU law referred to as ePrivacy Directive.

“Google is a major player within the adtech industry and has an enormous financial incentive to track customers through the AAID. ”’

Lützow-Holm Myrstad, Norwegian Consumer Council.

“In our viewpoint, under the ePrivacy Directive, there is absolutely no room for an installation of the particular AAID without the user’s permission, ” Stefano Rossetti, personal privacy lawyer with NOYB, informed Digital Privacy News.

Google did not react to a request for comment concerning the April 7 complaint.

Launched within 2014

Google introduced AAID (also known as the Google Advertising IDENTIFICATION or GAID) in 2014, ostensibly to allow Android customers better control over how applications collected and shared their own information.

The particular AAID allows third-party application developers to track users’ gadget activity and target associated with ads.

Customers can reset AAID within Android settings, effectively removing it — however , the unit spontaneously will generate a brand new AAID. This functionality was your subject of an earlier NOYB complaint filed with the Austrian data-protection authority in May 2020.

“Under the ePrivacy Directive, there is absolutely no room for an installation of the particular AAID without the user’s permission. ”

Stefano Rossetti, NOYB.

Rossetti alleged that will Google’s failure to allow customers to delete AAID completely violated the EU’s Common Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

“The situation is still running with the Austrian authority, ” he stated.

Last Nov, NOYB lodged a similar issue against Apple with government bodies in Spain and Berlin, alleging that Apple installed the IDFA (ID For Advertisers) on iOS devices without having consent.

Google vs . Apple

Finn Lützow-Holm Myrstad, director of electronic policy at the Norwegian Customer Council, said that Google’s AAID and Apple’s IDFA had been “mostly equivalents, ” yet that some “important differences” existed between the tracking technology.

Opting away from IDFA on an Apple gadget “actually removes the IDENTIFICATION from the device, ” Lützow-Holm Myrstad explained, whereas “on Android devices, this doesn’ t happen. ” 

“Additionally, Google is really a major player in the adtech industry and has a huge monetary incentive to track users with the AAID, ” he informed Digital Privacy News.  

“Although Apple company may also use the IDFA to get tracking, it is not a significant gamer in ad tracking, and therefore has less of an motivation to abuse the system.

“With with that being said, we agree with NOYB that will both the AAID and the IDFA should not be generated by default, ” Lützow-Holm Myrstad said.

“Surrender your personal privacy completely, or opt out from the online world. ”

Rebecca Rumbul, U. K. privacy recommend.

Rebecca Rumbul, a U. Nited kingdom. privacy advocate who is going after a legal claim against technology companies Oracle and Salesforce over allegations of unlawful tracking, said it was “clear” that “adtech tracking without having explicit and informed permission is unlawful — whichever form it takes. ”

Rumbul said companies like Google were offering users with a stark selection: “Surrender your privacy totally, or opt out of the internet. ”

Robert Bateman is an author in Brighton, U. E.

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