Google is being targeted because of tracking Android users


Austrian privacy activist Max Schrimz has filed a complaint against Google and the Android operating system, its data protection organization says is illegally tracking Android users.

Shrimz has a strong track record of filing online privacy complaints against Apple and the IDFA tracking code used on iPhones in November.

It is also the cause of the collapse of the two data-sharing agreements between the United States and the European Union, which made companies uncertain about how to legally transfer personal data from the European Union to the United States.

Shrimz pointed out that Google violates the privacy rights of more than 300 million European citizens who use Android phones.

The new complaint, which the non-profit organization Noyb affiliated with Shrimz, submitted to the French privacy watchdog CNIL, revolves around the Android Ads Identifier AAID, which is a unique code for each Android device, and the operating system passes it to application developers and advertisers so that they can track users' activity and target them with personalized ads.

According to Shrimz, Android generates an AAID without the user's knowledge or consent, thus violating the so-called EU cookie law separate from the GDPR of 2018 in the European Union.

Filing a complaint about electronic privacy enables the French regulator to make a decision on its own, rather than having to delay the process by contacting other watchdogs across Europe, as is the case with a GDPR complaint about a company operating across the European Union.

The French privacy watchdog CNIL showed a willingness to take strict measures against major technology companies over privacy violations, as Google just months ago fined more than $ 120 million for violating the electronic privacy directive by placing cookies in users' browsers without asking their consent or explaining why the tracking occurred.

Noyb's complaint says, it's impossible for users to delete the AAID that's tracking them, and they can only reset the identifier.

Noyb said: Imagine having colored material on your feet and hands that identifies every step, every movement, and everything that you touch within the ecosystem of the mobile device and you cannot remove it, and this colored material represents the identifier of Android ads, as it is a tracking tool that identifies every action you take inside and outside the ecosystem of the mobile device.

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