Google misled consumers over data collection - Australian watchdog


FILE PHOTO: A 3D printed Google logo is seen in this illustration taken April 12, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

SYDNEY (Reuters) -Australia's federal court found Alphabet Inc's Google misled some consumers about personal location data collected through Android mobile devices, the country's competition regulator said on Friday.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said it is seeking declarations and penalties from Google, though it did not specify an amount.

"This is an important victory for consumers, especially anyone concerned about their privacy online, as the Court’s decision sends a strong message to Google and others that big businesses must not mislead their customers,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said in a statement.

The case revolves around specific Google settings related to its location data collection, location history and 'web & app activity'.

The court found that Google wrongly claimed it could only collect information from the location history setting on user devices between January 2017 and December 2018. (https://bit.ly/3ge5RjX)

A setting to control web and application activity, when turned on, also enabled Google to collect, store and use the data and was turned on by default on the devices.

Users were not informed that turning off location history but leaving the "Web & App Activity" setting on would allow Google to continue to collect data, the court found.

The court will need to decide what it considers a breach and how many occurred but the Australian Broadcasting Corp (ABC) quoted the ACCC chairman Rod Simms as saying that the regulator would seek a penalty in the "many millions".

A Google spokesman said the company was reviewing its options.

"The court rejected many of the ACCC’s broad claims. We disagree with the remaining findings and are currently reviewing our options, including a possible appeal," the spokesman said.

The tech giant has been embroiled in legal action in Australia in recent months as the government mulled and later passed a law to make Google and Facebook pay media companies for content on their platforms.

(Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi and Aditya Munjuluru in Bengaluru and Swati Pandey in Sydney; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Ana Nicolaci da Costa)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3

   

Next In Tech News

Italy's antitrust fines Google 102 million euros for abuse of dominant position
Samsung Elec raises non-memory chip investment to $151 billion through 2030
South Korea announces bigger tax breaks, loans to bolster local chip industry
Bumble adds users, makes profit, but gives cautious outlook
Apple-Epic judge hints at compromise in feud over app store
DarkSide hackers mint money with ransomware franchise
Apple says 'Chaos Monkeys' author hired in ads business has left company
Bitcoin ticks back in Asia after Musk tweet sent price down 17%
Researchers’ new best friend? Robot dog gets to work
Honor Malaysia unveils its latest laptop and fitness tracker

Stories You'll Enjoy


Vouchers