Under the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which came into force yesterday, tech giants Googe and Facebook had already been sued.
Yesterday, Noyb, a privacy campaign group, issued lawsuits against Facebook, Google, Instagram, and WhatsApp over “forced consent.”
The sai campaign group filed a complaint against Instagram with authorities in Belgium, a claim against Google with regards to its Android operating system with authorities in France, a lawsuit against Facebook in Austria, and a complaint against WhatsApp in Germany.
The possible maximum penalties for companies that were discovered to be in breach is severe, standing at four percent of global revenue which for Google and Facebook would easily be stretching into billions of dollars.
Noyb claimed that the new regulations forbid forced consent, where a user is only able to have access to the service once they consent for their information to be used.
The group said that the GDPR allows for data processing that is necessary for the use of the service but that using the information for advertising or to sell onto third parties requires the opt-in consent of the users.
Noyb also said that it hoped that the lawsuit will set an end to the obtrusive pop-ups that are used to claim the consent of users.
A spokesperson from Google stated: “We build privacy and security into our products from the very earliest stages and are committed to complying with the EU General Data Protection Regulation. Over the last 18 months, we have taken steps to update our products, policies and processes to provide users with meaningful data transparency and control across all the services that we provide in the EU.”
On the other hand, Chief privacy officer Erin Egan of Facebook, which is the parent company of both WhatsApp and Instagram stated: “We have prepared for the past 18 months to ensure we meet the requirements of the GDPR. We have made our policies clearer, our privacy settings easier to find and introduced better tools for people to access, download, and delete their information.”