On January 11th, the Bundeskartellamt, Germany’s Federal Cartel Office, released a Statement of Objections regarding Google’s end user terms and conditions. The German Cartel Office found that Google’s current practice of building extensive user dossiers based on combined data from multiple owned products and services, failed to meet its legal obligations.
The Bundeskartellamt argued that sufficient choice would mean users should be able to limit the processing of data to the specific service used and differentiate between the purposes for which the data is processed.
AdExchanger picked up this story (see their article here), pointing to a crucial change across Google’s services to further integrate its multiple data sources. Google Maps and Google Flights used to exist under the domains maps.google.com and flight.google.com. In November 2022, these domains were renamed google.com/maps and google.com/flights.
This essentially means that when users consent to location tracking for Maps, a necessary term of service, they also gave permission to Google to use of the data by Google’s products. Google has thus through a minor change extracted geo-tracking consent, without transparently specifying its particular use.
We note that Google Travel and Google Hotels have since made the same switch.