The Austrian DPA found the respondent at fault for not providing information and notifications in languages that are relevant to the countries where the services are being offered, based on the nationality or place of residence of the data subject.
The respondent violated Article 14 of GDPR by using a deceptive pattern of language discontinuity, as they provided the complainant with information in Polish, despite the complainant residing in Austria and speaking German. The respondent further processed the complainant's data for five months without informing her. Although the respondent subsequently provided the required information in German during the proceedings, they violated the law by not initially providing information in a language that the complainant could understand. However, the complaint was dismissed as the complainant did not claim linguistic inability and the subsequent information was considered to be sufficiently comprehensible.
The Austrian DPA stated that the respondent can fix the alleged violation by following the complainant's requests until the investigation is finished.
Brigitte A. (complainant) and N & Co Material GmbH (respondent)
The trick wording deceptive pattern takes advantage of user expectations and ambiguous language to mislead and deceive users. It is normal for users to scan-read when they are online, as a way to cope with the sheer volume of information they are faced with. This means they don't read and dwell on every word on every page. Trick wording usually takes advantage of the scan reading strategy, by making a piece of content look like it is saying one thing, when in fact it is saying something else that is not in the user's best interests.
Specifies required information for data subjects when collecting personal data from other sources, including controller identity, processing purposes, personal data categories, recipients, and retention period.