Australia: The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission ( ACCC), the country’s competition watchdog, has filed a lawsuit against Google in the federal court in New South Wales. The commission has alleged that Google violated laws when it made misleading claims about user location data collection.
The ACCC says that between January 2017 and late 2018, people made Google accounts on phones and tablets, they were made to believe that “Location History” was the only way to determine whether or not the company is collecting location data.
But in reality, “Web & App Activity” also had to be switched off if users did not want to share their location data with Google.
“By default, new Google accounts have location history turned off, while web and app activity is turned on. If the latter remained switched on, however, the company continued to collect personal information including the user’s location through the app”, reports the Guardian.
“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
A Google spokesperson has said the company is reviewing the allegations and engaging with the ACCC.