Google to be investigated in Australia over data claims

15 May, 2018, 22:34 | Author: Lucy Floyd
  • Google using Australians' mobile data to spy on them: claim

They cited a Quartz report in November that showed the company collects location information from Android users even when they have turned off location services, haven't used any apps or even inserted a SIM card.

Transferring that information to Google means using up gigabytes of data that consumers have paid for under data packages purchased from local telecom service providers, according to the Oracle report.

"The ACCC met with Oracle and is considering information it has provided about Google services", ACCC spokeswoman Geesche Jacobsen said. The ACCC was already investigating Google and Facebook's impact on the advertising market.

Blumenthal and Markey said they asked Google CEO Sundar Pichai for answers, but received a response that raised further questions about their "characterization of basic consumer protection terms".

"In the case of mobile devices, any charges for transmission of data over a cellular connection - including any location-related data - would be governed by a user's mobile carrier plan".

A Google spokesperson said the company had users' permission to collect data.

Reuters was unable to immediately verify the content of the Oracle report.

A film outing for Muslim superhero Ms Marvel is in the works
It was certainly a powerful moment in the film, especially for Peter and Gamora's relationship, which now spans three movies . However, I would not be at all surprised to see Avengers 4 sneak it's way into the top two when it is released next year.

However, beaming that much data back to Google costs gigabytes of mobile data that customers have unknowingly have been unknowingly paying for thinking that it reflects their data usage.

The Android phones relay the location of the nearby cell towers to Google, without the necessary consent given by the user, the allegation states.

"Google has an intimate understanding of personal lives as they watch their user's seek the support of reproductive health services, engage in civic activities, or attend places of religious worship", Markey and Blumenthal write.

The investigations into Google data harvesting come in the aftermath of the privacy scandal around social media giant Facebook, accused of collecting user data for marketing purposes.

For context, Oracle has actively been in court with Google for more than 5 years over whether Android's usage of Java was considered fair use, and is certainly not an unbiased party. According to Oracle, Google is able to get information as accurate as "which level of a shopping mall you are on" by using barometric pressure reading.

Symantec goes to give an example of "Android.Reputation.1" malware which appears to be "hidden in at at least seven apps in the U.S".

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