A PYMNTS Company

Italian Watchdog OKs Google’s Commitments

 |  July 31, 2023

On Monday, the Italian Competition and Market Authority (AGCM) accepted commitments proposed by Google to conclude a case of alleged abuse of its dominant position in the user data portability market.

This followed a complaint by Italian startup Hoda which accused Google of impeding the right of customers to share their personal data with other digital platforms.

Google agreed to undertake some changes to its data backup service in order to facilitate users’ extraction of their private data from Alphabet’s services.

The tech giant also promised to make available a test version of a tool it is developing to enable other digital platforms to access the personal data that users generate through their activity on Alphabet services. The tool is scheduled for official release next year.

Regarding the commitments voiced by Google, the AGCM noted that they are satisfactory in eliminating competition concerns: “All in all, the authority deemed Google’s commitments as suitable to remove concerns over competition,” said the authority.

Related: Biden Appoints Ex-Google Lobbyist as Director of Legislative Affairs

In response to AGCM’s decision, Google’s spokesperson welcomed the outcome, while also stressing on the company’s investment in data portability: “A Google spokesperson welcomed the AGCM’s decision, adding the company was investing in data portability “in a way that improves user experience while protecting user privacy and security”.

In 2020, AGCM had noted the potential impact of the alleged abuse that was taking place: “constrain the economic benefits that consumers can derive from their data” as well as limit competition in the market. Google faced a penalty of up to 10% of its annual worldwide income in the event of guilt.

With the commitments proposed by Google readily accepted by AGCM, customers of Alphabet services now have the liberty of using their personal data on any digital platform of their desire, with their privacy and security fully safeguarded.

Source: Reuters