Austrian privacy activist says Google illegally tracks Android users

Austrian privacy activist Max Schrems has filed a complaint against Google in France alleging that the ad network masquerading as a search engine illegally tracks users on Android phones without their consent.

Austrian privacy activist says Google illegally tracks Android users

Javier Espinoza for Financial Times:

Android phones generate unique advertising codes… that allow Google and third parties to track users’ browsing behaviour in order to better target them with advertising.

In a complaint filed on Wednesday, Schrems’ campaign group Noyb argued that in creating and storing these codes without first obtaining explicit permission from users, Google was engaging in “illegal operations” that violate EU privacy laws.

Noyb urged France’s data privacy regulator to launch a probe into Google’s tracking practices and to force the company to comply with privacy rules. “Through these hidden identifiers on your phone, Google and third parties can track users without their consent,” said Stefano Rossetti, privacy lawyer at Noyb. “It is like having powder on your hands and feet, leaving a trace of everything you do on your phone — from whether you swiped right or left to the song you downloaded.”

Last year Schrems won a landmark case at Europe’s highest court that ruled a transatlantic agreement on transferring data between the bloc and the US used by thousands of corporations did not protect EU citizens’ privacy.

MacDailyNews Take: There’s a reason Google gives away Android.

A few years ago, users of Internet services began to realize that when an online service is free, you’re not the customer. You’re the product.Apple CEO Tim Cook, September 18, 2014


  1. Google mostly treats its users as a commodity, to be sold to its actual customers, the advertisers. In contrast, Apple makes most of its profit from selling hardware products. Apple’s users ARE Apple’s customers. Apple’s motivation (to keep customers coming back) generally aligns with the welfare and happiness of Apple’s customers.

    1. Yes, Apple is fighting a challenging upstream battle and is winning against all odds, against a particular but significantly pernicious segment of the Fascist State led by the Google/FB/Pentagon/National Security alliance while, itself, being inexhorably woven into the larger part.

  2. I had a large dose of cynicism/skepticism when reading yesterday’s article about “Google’s flagship apps now featuring Apple’s privacy labels.”

    It stunk when I read it yesterday the stink finds some confirmation here. A little lipstick on the pig isn’t going to change their nature and their nature, for as long as I can remember, is morally compromised. A pure example of an authoritarian technocrat.

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