November does not end well for Apple and Google, at least in Italy. And it is that, after an investigation carried out by the Authorita Garante Della Concorrenza e del Mercato, the Italian regulator has determined that both technologies do not adequately inform their customers on the commercial use that they make of their data, which would go against the regulations of the Alpine country, and the reason why they will have to assume the payment of said sanction.
The action has been communicated by the agency itself on its website, in which we can read that in addition to the deficiencies in relation to the information they give to users, both Apple and Google also have implemented practices «aggressive« to pressure its users to accept its conditions and, therefore, the practices that are based on them. This is something that is especially surprising in the case of Apple, which for some time now has positioned itself on the side of users when it comes to the protection of their data.
Google has been accused of omitting relevant information in the user account creation phase and also while users use their services. And, according to the regulator, such information should be provided to users proactively, so that users are fully aware of the uses that the company can give their data, so that they, in turn, can decide whether or not they allow the use of their data. The accusation against Apple is similar.
In the case of Google, the Italian regulator points out that the company assumes acceptance of such uses, and states that there is also no clear system for users to revoke consent. It also argues that Apple’s approach denies users the ability to tailor the commercial use of their data to their preferences, and the regulator argues that Cupertino’s data collection and practices condition consumers to accept its policies.
Both companies have already responded to the sanction by the Italian regulator. In a statement, Apple has stated “We believe that the opinion of the Authority is wrong and will appeal the decision. Apple has a longstanding commitment to the privacy of our users, and we work incredibly hard to design products and features that protect customer data. We provide transparency and control to all users so that they can choose what information to share or not, and how it is used«.
For its part, Google’s statement states “We have transparent and fair practices to provide our users with useful tools and clear information about their use. We provide people with simple controls to manage their information and limit the use of personal data, and we work hard to fully comply with consumer protection regulations. We do not agree with the Authority’s decision and will appeal«.