March 2023 – The Italian Competition Authority publishes the commitments filed by Google, aimed at overcoming the investigation for abuse of dominant position, in particular against Weople
Last July, the Italian Competition and Market Authority (AGCM), following a complaint by Hoda, with reference to Weople, opened an investigation against Google for abuse of a dominant position on the right to data portability. The Authority stated that Google has potentially violated Article 20 of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) by limiting the ability of operators other than Google to develop innovative services and uses of personal data.
On March 22, AGCM officially published Google’s commitments aimed at resolving the situation (https://www.agcm.it/dotcmsdoc/impegni/p30508_all.pdf). Google has pledged to develop new tools that allow users to download and export their data from Google to a third-party app. It also committed to provide the target platform with more transparency on the data structure. Last, starting in October 2023, Google will grant access to an “Early Adopter Program” for the development and testing of new technologies that enable “direct portability of data from service to service”.
We believe that this event – achieved with perseverance, conviction, and sacrifice – marks a remarkable success for Hoda and for the entire Weople community. It represents a true turning point for the users of our app and, more broadly, for all consumers:
- through Weople we brought innovation, making privacy regulation easily applicable to all consumers. Today we can affirm – with greater confidence than ever before – that our vision is correct and that our products are future-proof;
- our complaint has brought results that can benefit all stakeholders – from operators to users – and this is a further achievement to be proud of;
- this is the first case in Europe in which it is clearly stated that Article 20 of the GDPR, which grants people the right to data portability, is not only a matter of privacy but also of free competition, therefore a basic consumer right;
- to be even more clear, people must have the real possibility to actively participate, with their data, in the great and billion-dollar game of the data economy and benefit from it. They must be given the opportunity to act as subjects – not objects – and must be kept protected. It is therefore essential that data can be freely and easily carried from one platform to another by people. These are the main goals of our app Weople.
- this event is a turning point able to change, for many companies, the way they view the relationship with their customers in the data economy, opening new opportunities for everyone.
We are extremely satisfied with the result, which confirms that the European Regulation is fostering a new, open, fair and participatory data economy.
We spent years fighting for this, supported by a community that stuck with us with patience and dedication, for which we will be forever grateful. Sometimes it happens that a small startup is not left alone and manages to move a mountain. And sometimes it happens in Italy.
We look forward to a better future where anything is possible…