April 13, 2021
forced consent GDPR complaints

Users already Filing GDPR Complaints over “Forced Consent” against Facebook and Google

“Forced consent” GDPR complaints have already been filed, just hours after the new law went into effect, against Facebook and Google…

Well, that didn’t take long. Only hours after the new GDPR or General Data Protection Regulation went live, users have already lodged formal complaints. Max Schrems, a long-time Facebook critic, filed four complaints over the tech companies “take it or leave it” stance.

Forced Consent GDPR Complaints about Facebook and Google already Rolling In

Said complaints were filed on behalf of anonymous users. One against Facebook, one against Instagram, and another against WhatsApp. A last one against Google over its mobile property, Android.

Schrems argues the companies are engaging in a stiff-arm strategy of “forced consent” to continue to process users’ personal data. That’s counter to the new law, which requires users be given free choice (unless in instances where consent is a strict necessity). 

“It’s simple: Anything strictly necessary for a service does not need consent boxes anymore. For everything else users must have a real choice to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’,” Schrem wrote in a statement. He continued, “Facebook has even blocked accounts of users who have not given consent. In the end users only had the choice to delete the account or hit the ‘agree’-button — that’s not a free choice, it more reminds of a North Korean election process.”

To which, Facebook privacy officer, Erin Egan, replied, “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. Our work to improve people’s privacy doesn’t stop on May 25th. For example, we’re building Clear History: a way for everyone to see the websites and apps that send us information when you use them, clear this information from your account, and turn off our ability to store it associated with your account going forward.”

Basically, this is the beginning of a long war over privacy concerns and the delicate balance between what users share and what the tech companies use for targeted advertising.