Advertising tracking: New complaint filed against Google in France about Android

A new complaint is filed against Google over its tracking practices for advertising purposes. The consumer rights NGO NOYB (none of your business) announced on Tuesday April 6, 2021 to file a complaint with the Cnil (National Commission for Informatics and Freedoms). At issue: the unique identifier attached to each Android device which makes it possible to send targeted advertisements.

Cannot refuse this tracking

Any device using Google’s Android operating system is assigned an “Android Advertising Identifier” (AAID). This unique identifier allows advertising networks to track user behavior, establish consumption preferences and deliver targeted advertisements.

NOYB disputes the fact that it is impossible for a user to oppose the allocation of this identifier. “Such tracking is strictly regulated by the EU” cookie law “(article 5, paragraph 3, of the online privacy regulation) and requires the informed and unambiguous consent of the users”, says the NGO. . In addition, it is impossible for the user to delete this AAID, they can only reset it. An approach which does not lead to deleting the data collected or to terminating the monitoring.

A policy change for Apple

This complaint is filed under the European ePrivacy regulation and not the GDPR. The CNIL, the authority which regulates the protection of personal data in France, can therefore take a decision without needing to cooperate with other EU authorities, specifies the NGO. A previous complaint on this same subject had been lodged by the NGO with the equivalent of the Cnil in Austria, but it was based on the GDPR. NOYB also specifies that other remedies could follow. Almost 306 million smartphones using Android are active in the EU.

The complaint comes as Apple recently overhauled its advertising policy with the update to the iOS 14 operating system. Apple wants all iPhone and iPad owners to be able to explicitly agree to the. use of its unique identifier IDFA, for “Identifier for advertisers”, and this individually for each application.

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