Google and Facebook are already abusing GDPR, new report claims

Google and Facebook are already abusing GDPR, new report claims
The new privacy network of the European Union, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), is coming into force after years of deliberation. It's been mere days, and the European Center for Digital Rights NOYB is already on Facebook's and Google's cases, who the watchdog claims are abusing the regulation.

In NOYB's latest report, the non-profit alleges that the companies are engaging in "forced consent" -- that is, they are adopting a "take it or leave it" approach that forces consumers to either agree to the data terms or lose access to the service.

In its report on the matter, NOYB says:

"The new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which came into force today at midnight, is supposed to give users a free choice, whether they agree to data usage or not. The opposite feeling spread on the screens of many users: tons of “consent boxes” popped up online or in applications, often combined with a threat, that the service cannot longer be used if user do[es] not consent. One the first day of GDPR noyb.eu has therefor[e] file[ed] four complaints against Google (Android), Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram over forced consent."

Chairman of the watchdog, Max Schrems, even draws parallels between Facebook's actions and North Korea's election process: "Facebook has even blocked accounts of users who have not given consent. In the end, users only had the choice to delete the account or hit the “agree” button–that’s not a free choice, it more reminds of a North Korean election process."

If the European Union agrees that Facebook and Google are abusing the regulations, both companies may be subject to severe fines, Fast Company reports.

source: NOYB via FastCompany

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14 Comments

1. BGChicago

Posts: 216; Member since: Nov 16, 2014

Let them fine them, big time. Especially google. Don't understand how a scandal with Google's spy machine hasn't blow up for over a decade. In the past, with Android, at least you could've do lots of tricks and hacks. It's strating to lock down more and more with every new fruit name but they still track your ass down and we consumers are still the product. Same for Windows 10. Terrible practise, "evoked" by all the cheap Joe over there doesn't want to pay for software and has no idea how hard it actually is to code a descent program/OS.

2. Cyberchum

Posts: 1009; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

The way i see it, they should be allowed to make it "assent or leave". I see nothing wrong in telling people to leave the platform if they don't approve of its security model. It's like an EULA: can you disagree and still use the product? . Let's be logical for a moment, here. If you don't like what I'm selling, you shouldn't buy. Simple!

3. BGChicago

Posts: 216; Member since: Nov 16, 2014

EULA is comapny policy, not a nation/union one. Company should follow national/union laws, don't you think?

6. Cyberchum

Posts: 1009; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

I guess you missed the "be logical" part.

8. IT-Engineer

Posts: 452; Member since: Feb 26, 2015

You want to run your business in Europe, play by the European rules or leave!

10. Cyberchum

Posts: 1009; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

I hope you'd make the jump to a pay model if and when they do add it. Because that is the only thing that will make your talk sensible. . And hey, it's only a business when they're making money. And a good one when the income is substantial. Not when they're making peanuts or less. . Get real!

11. yalokiy

Posts: 859; Member since: Aug 01, 2016

Sounds just as bad what they are fighting against, at least it's fair now.

4. Phullofphil

Posts: 1732; Member since: Feb 10, 2009

90% of the people out there Have the information being used is more of a irritating thing than an actual violation. Most of the crap is crappy selfies. To use a picture of you in the Bahamas to put ads on your Facebook that show you vacation packages or what not really is not that huge of a deal except for where it leads to. In my Pinyan either need to pay for the service or let them make their money by selling ads that maybe cater to your needs. Nothing in this world is free . The price of using the free service should be for them to use your information to value ads Better. I agree with them doing this. If you don’t like what they’re doing and you shouldn’t be using their service if enough people agree with you and then they will go under or they will change. People act like they got some super top-secret information in your profile in Facebook

5. Cyberchum

Posts: 1009; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

Exactly! The CambridgeAnalytica disaster aside, I see absolutely nothing wrong in using user info to perfect ADs. This is business—a profit oriented one—and I'm absolutely sure most of the people crying foul and whining would easily do same.

7. isprobi

Posts: 797; Member since: May 30, 2011

So is anyone really surprised at this outcome? If a company makes a product with no direct cost to the consumer they have to make money somehow else. I think the real problem is lack of competition. If you don't like Facebook's requirements where else do you go to find your friends? You could try something like MeWe but how do you get all your friends to join? If you don't like Android's requirements where else can you go to but Apple. And Apple is likely to be just as invasive. We need more choices but if Microsoft could not create a successful cell phone hardware, software and applications platform who can?

9. Cyberchum

Posts: 1009; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

If I was them, I'd add a third option: pay to access. Monthly and discounted yearly subscription; they need to give "social media" privacy freaks the option to have an ad-free experience while protecting their selfies.

12. johnbftl

Posts: 283; Member since: Jun 09, 2012

For anyone that doesn't know what GDPR fines amount to, it is 4% of your company's TOTAL GLOBAL REVENUE or 20 million Euros, whichever is greater. Facebook and Google are going to be getting fined billions.

13. medicci37

Posts: 1361; Member since: Nov 19, 2011

You are so wrong about paying for those services Cyberchum! Facebook & Google still make a ton of money without sacrificing everyone's privacy. They would still make plenty of money selling ads & if it wasn't legal for these companies to do invade peoples privacy there'd be no pressure for them to do so. There's been advertising for millenia without that kind of invasive abuse of people's rights

14. mootu

Posts: 1322; Member since: Mar 16, 2017

No one is forcing you to use their services, you choose to do do of your own free will. Also they are not invading your privacy, when you sign up you agree to the terms of service. It's only invading privacy if you have not given permission. If you can't be bothered to find out what you are signing up for then thats your own stupid fault.

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