Austrian Data Privacy Activist Takes Aim at “Forced Consent”

Image: Pete Linforth

(From Reuters)

As Europe’s new privacy law took effect on Friday, one activist wasted no time in asserting the additional rights it gives people over the data that companies want to collect about them.

Austrian Max Schrems filed complaints against Google, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, arguing they were acting illegally by forcing users to accept intrusive terms of service or lose access.

That take-it-or-leave-it approach, Schrems told Reuters Television, violates people’s right under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to choose freely whether to allow companies to use their data.

“You have to have a ‘yes or no’ option,” Schrems said in an interview recorded in Vienna before he filed the complaints in various European jurisdictions.

“A lot of these companies now force you to consent to the new privacy policy, which is totally against the law.”

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