Trouble for Google as enforcement action increases on multiple fronts

26/01/2022 | Datatilsynet

Google is coming under increasing scrutiny on multiple fronts. Following the ruling by the Austrian DPA that using Google Analytics violates the EU General Data Protection Regulation, the Danish DPA said it will assess the decision and provide relevant guidance, noting "it is essential that European regulators have a common interpretation of the rules." The DPA for Guernsey has removed Google Analytics from its website. In a statement, it said, "Ethics and accountability are talked about a lot, so we wanted to be open and transparent about our position," adding the Austrian ruling serves as a "reminder to us all that data protection is not a static box-ticking exercise."   Norway's DPA, Datatilsynet, has also announced it is joining the Austrian DPA's ruling against companies' continued use of Google Analytics. The regulator also said the European Data Protection Board is working on the matter "in a separate working group," but noted other web tools similar to Google Analytics "send much more data" to the U.S.  

In Germany, a group of publishers and advertisers (including Politico Publisher Axel Springer) are calling for lawmakers to intervene on Google's plan to phase out third-party cookies by next year. "Publishers must remain in a position where they are allowed to ask their users for consent to process data, without Google capturing this decision," the group said in a 108-page complaint to the European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager. 

Meanwhile, the IAPP reports a group of US state attorneys general filed lawsuits on Monday claiming Google applies dark patterns with its location data practices. The legal action could re-ignite ongoing discussions at the state and federal level on the best way to address these deceptive and manipulative acts that sway users' thinking. Dark patterns are also prohibited by the EU Digital Services Act, which the European Parliament recently passed. 

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