European consumer groups take action against Google

Federation of German Consumer Organisations (vzbv) sends warning letter to Google

  • Google is using deceptive design, unclear language and misleading choices when consumers sign up to a Google account to encourage more extensive and invasive data processing.
  • Contrary to its claims, the tech giant is thwarting consumers who want to better protect their privacy.
  • Consumer groups are taking action on suspected breaches of the GDPR.
Monitor showing a CCTV camera. Below: Fast track to surveillance. How Google makes privacy the hard choice

Credit: BEUC

Tech giant Google is unfairly steering consumers towards its surveillance system when they sign up to a Google account, instead of giving them privacy by design and by default as required by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

As a result, ten consumer groups, under the coordination of the European Consumer Organisation (BEUC), are taking action to ensure that Google complies with the law:

  • dTest (Czech Republic), Forbrukerrådet (Norway), EKPIZO and KEPKA (Greece), UFC-Que Choisir (France) and ZPS (Slovenia) have filed GDPR complaints with their data protection authorities.
  • Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband – vzbv (Germany) has sent a warning letter to Google, a first step before potentially filing a civil lawsuit.
  • Consumentenbond (Netherlands), Forbrugerrådet Tænk (Denmark) and Sveriges Konsumenter (Sweden) have written to their national authorities to alert them about Google’s practices.
  • US consumer groups from the Transatlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD) network are also sending a letter today to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) denouncing Google’s practices.




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Rosemarie Rodden

Rosemarie Rodden

Policy Officer Team Litigation +49 30 25800-0