Google Misled Consumers About Data Collection, Says Australian Watchdog

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Australia’s federal court docket discovered Alphabet’s Google misled some customers about private location information collected via Android cellular units, the nation’s competitors regulator stated on Friday.

The Australian Competitors and Client Fee (ACCC) said it’s in search of declarations and penalties from Google, although it didn’t specify an quantity.

“This is a crucial victory for customers, particularly anybody involved about their privateness on-line, because the Court docket’s determination sends a robust message to Google and others that huge companies should not mislead their prospects,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims stated in an announcement.

The case revolves round particular Google settings associated to its location information assortment, location historical past and ‘internet & app exercise’.

The court docket discovered that Google wrongly claimed it may solely gather data from the situation historical past setting on person units between January 2017 and December 2018.

A setting to manage internet and utility exercise, when turned on, additionally enabled Google to gather, retailer and use the information and was turned on by default on the units.

Customers weren’t knowledgeable that turning off location historical past however leaving the “Net & App Exercise” setting on would permit Google to proceed to gather information, the court docket discovered.

The court docket might want to determine what it considers a breach and what number of occurred however the Australian Broadcasting Corp (ABC) quoted the ACCC chairman Rod Simms as saying that the regulator would search a penalty within the “many hundreds of thousands”.

A Google spokesman stated the corporate was reviewing its choices.

“The court docket rejected most of the ACCC’s broad claims. We disagree with the remaining findings and are at present reviewing our choices, together with a doable enchantment,” the spokesman stated.

The tech big has been embroiled in authorized motion in Australia in current months as the federal government mulled and later handed a regulation to make Google and Facebook pay media firms for content material on their platforms.

© Thomson Reuters 2021


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