Australia: Google sued by ACCC over location data collection

Australia’s competition watchdog is pursuing Google over allegations the tech giant made false or misleading claims about which personal location data it was collecting.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) began proceedings against Google in the federal court in New South Wales on Tuesday, October 29, alleging it breached the law through a series of on-screen representations made as users set up Google accounts on their Android mobile phones and tablets, reported Reuters. 

The ACCC claims that when people set up their Google accounts on phones and tablets between January 2017 and late 2018, they would have incorrectly believed that “Location History” was the only setting that affected whether the company was collecting a user’s location data.

“We allege that as a result of these on-screen representations, Google has collected, kept and used highly sensitive and valuable personal information about consumers’ location without them making an informed choice,” the ACCC chair, Rod Sims, said in a statement on Tuesday.

The ACCC has argued that users were not able to make an informed choice about how to stop Google obtaining and retaining their personal data and location information.

A spokesperson for Google said the company was reviewing the allegations and engaging with the ACCC.

It is the first major court case launched by the ACCC against one of the tech giants since the release of the report into digital platforms earlier this year.

Full Content: Reuters

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