Australia: Google misled users about data collection
Australia: Google misled users about data collection

According to the ACCC, the Australian Federal Court found that Google misled users about collecting personal location data from Android mobile devices between 2017 and 2018.

The committee began taking legal action against Google in 2019, saying the ruling was a huge win for consumers in protecting online privacy.

She said: Google wrongly believes that Android users will mislead Android users. If only the location history option is enabled, personal data may be collected.

The court ruled that Google can collect, store and use personal location data even if the "Web logging and application activity" option is enabled, even if the "site history" option is disabled.

"This is a big victory for consumers, especially anyone interested in protecting privacy on the Internet, as the court ruling sends a strong message to Google and other companies that big companies should not mislead customers," the authority’s president said.

A Google spokesman said the court had dismissed many of the public lawsuits filed by the Australian Competition and Consumer Protection Commission.

He said in a statement: "We disagree with the remaining results and are currently reviewing our options, including possible objections."

After the commission took legal action, the tech giant increased and controlled transparency, including automatic scanning of the site history and an incognito mode in map products.

The committee requested clarifications, financial penalties, and compliance orders, but did not disclose the amount.

"In addition to the sanctions, we are calling for an order to compel Google to send notices to Australian consumers to better explain future data settings on Google," the committee chair said.

He added that users can make informed decisions when deciding whether to enable certain Google settings.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission clashed with former tech giants over a media law that made companies like Google and Facebook pay for the media. Australia passed the law in Parliament in February.

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