Australian privacy regulators examining Google’s Android location-data collection
An Oracle report accuses the company of improperly tracking user location without consent.
European privacy moves are having a ripple effect around the globe. Reported earlier today by Reuters, Google now faces an investigation in Australia surrounding its location data collection practices from Android smartphone users.
Oracle, a staunch Google opponent, provided a market competition report to Australian regulators that asserts “Alphabet receives detailed information about people’s internet searches and user locations if they have a phone that carries Android.”
There are two central claims in the Oracle document according to the report: 1) consumers don’t fully understand, and therefore didn’t consent to, Google’s data collection practices and 2) the the transfer of data to Google is partly or entirely subsidized by consumers’ data plans.
A Google spokesperson told Reuters that the data is used with permission.
Last year similar claims were made about Android smartphones in a Quartz report, including the idea that user location was being relayed to Google even when location services were turned off. At the time Google said the tracking was used to improve the performance of certain services such as push notifications but wasn’t used for ad targeting purposes.