The French real estate portal SeLoger has been accused of illegally collecting users' personal data via its mobile app.
The complaint was made by the European Center for Digital Rights, a Vienna-based non-profit organization founded to protect user privacy and support the European Union's GDPR legislation.
The organization, which also goes by the moniker noyb (none of your business), alleges that the French portal along with two other prominent French businesses "illegally access and share users’ personal data with third parties for sophisticated analytics as soon as the apps are opened".
The complaint alleges that personal data shared includes Google's unique advertising ID, the model and brand of the device accessing the app and the local IP address of the user.
Under EU law, users must give "free, informed, specific and unambiguous consent" for a company to collect and share their information. According to noyb:
"Two out of the three mobile apps did not display a consent banner when launching the app. The third app presented a banner that theoretically gave the complainant the choice of giving or withholding their consent. In reality, the transmission of their personal data began without any interaction on their part – and before they even had a chance to think about consent."
While noyb has no official power to impose restrictions on companies like SeLoger, the non-profit stated that it would be passing the complaint on to the administrative regulatory body, the National Commission on Informatics and Liberty (NCIL), and would be suggesting that the companies included in the complaint be fined.
AVIV Group-owned SeLoger is the market-leading specialist real estate vertical in France. The portal faced another recent controversy when it started allowing private sellers to list their properties sparking an angry backlash from agents.
We have contacted SeLoger for comment and will update this article if and when we receive a response.