Google is being investigated by the Australian competition regulator for allegedly spying on Android phone users and having them pay for the privilege, according to a report by The Guardian.The watchdog, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), is looking into claims by tech company Oracle that Android devices send to Google information on searches, what is being viewed, and location data, even if location services are turned off. Oracle also claims that the country’s millions of Android users unwittingly pay their phone providers to send the data to Google. Meanwhile, Google told Quartz that it has permission from users for all of this and that customers don’t have to foot the bill.
Oracle went to the ACCC as part of a broader inquiry into digital platforms that is looking at the impact search engines like Google and social networks such as Facebook are having on publishers, advertisers, and consumers in Australia. The inquiry launched before it was revealed that Facebook allowed Cambridge Analytica to harvest the data of 50 million Facebook users without their permission, and ignited a global debate over data privacy. Facebook’s data practices are under investigation elsewhere in the world.
Full Content: The Guardian