An Austrian online privacy campaign group said on Wednesday it had filed a complaint against Google alleging tracking code installed “illegally” on Android phones.
The complaint from NOYB relates to Google’s Android Advertising Identifier (AAID) and is filed with the French Data Protection Authority, CNIL. According to NOYB, the AAID code “acts without user information or consent” and “acts as a license plate that identifies a user’s phone’s uniqueness and can be shared between companies.”
Furthermore, NOYB (you have no business) states that users do not have the option to delete the code, only the possibility of generating a new tracking ID. It says it violates the EU’s need for e-privacy guidelines for consumers to give informed consent to such traces.
Steveno Rossetti, a privacy lawyer at NOYB, likened the rule to “putting colored powder on your feet and hands that indicates your every move and action: everything you cover in the mobile ecosystem.” ۔
According to NOYB, the code is available on almost 306 million active Android mobile phones within the European Union. The latest complaint follows a similar complaint made by NOYB against Android in Austria last year.
NOYB has previously used EU privacy laws to address legal challenges related to online privacy in various European regions. In November, it launched lawsuits against Apple in Germany and Spain over a code known as IDFA (“Advertiser Identifier”). NOYB’s founders included privacy activist Max Schreims, who has launched a series of legal victories over online privacy.
Following a legal complaint against Schreim, the European Union’s Supreme Court has ruled that online data management between Europe and the United States, known as the “Privacy Shield,” is null and void. In 2015, another case brought by Claims supported a previous EU agreement on which tech companies relied on business.