French group files GDPR complaints against Facebook, Google, Apple, Amazon, LinkedIn
The issue of 'forced consent' is at the center of the seven complaints.
The first day that GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) was in force last week saw formal complaints filed against Google and Facebook by privacy advocacy group Noyb.eu. Now, a similar French organization called La Quadrature du Net has filed complaints against a broader group of US-based companies for violating GDPR.
There are seven complaints against Facebook, Google (Gmail, YouTube and Search), Apple, Amazon and LinkedIn, which the group collectively calls “GAFAM.” (“M” is for Microsoft.) The complaints were solicited from the public at large (12,000 received) and later formalized by La Quadrature.
La Quadrature has made these complaints (in French) available as templates and is allowing any entity in Europe to “reuse them” to “attack GAFAM or so many others” (links open complaints in French):
The group promises additional future complaints against Skype, Outlook, Android, WhatsApp and Instagram. The basis for the complaints seems to be the same “forced consent” issue that animates the earlier Noyb.eu complaints. The apparent objective is to parse intended data uses and make consent distinct for each one. Noyb.eu’s documents assert that “access to services can no longer depend on whether a user gives consent to the use of data.”
An unrelated survey in the UK finds that consumers have a favorable view of GDPR and believe it will have a positive overall impact on how their data is handled.
If Noyb.eu and La Quadrature are leading indicators, NGOs across Europe will be aggressive in their use of the new regulations to push back against and attempt to punish US tech companies (with fines) for what they perceive to be historical data abuses.