Thursday, 18 October, 2018

Senators want FTC to investigate Google's location data collection

Google using Australians' mobile data to spy on them: claim ACCC investigating claims by Oracle that Google is tracking your movements and using your data to report them
Glenn Montgomery | 15 May, 2018, 22:35

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".

A spokesperson for the company replied that users had given their permission to have their data collected when they chose to use an Android handset.

Australia's competition watchdog has recently stated that it is investigating Google over reports that the tech giant has been harvesting vast amounts of personal data from Android smartphone users to sell targeted advertising.

Oracle, according to the Australian newspaper, said Alphabet receives detailed information about people's Internet searches and user locations if they have a phone that runs Android - the mobile operating system developed by Google. This, in turn, helped the advertisers to work out on which level of a shopping mall was the target consumer at.

With the EU General Data Protection Regulation set to come into force in just 11 days' time Google could also face further privacy investigations in Europe. "The types and quantity of such data that a user's device transmits would depend on the products or services they use.in some cases a user's settings", it added.

The data collection also reportedly continues to take place even when the phone has been reset to its factory condition, its SIM card has been removed, or when no apps are running on the cellular device.

Google's privacy policy states that they save "When you search for a restaurant on Google Maps or watch a video on YouTube, for example, we process information about that activity - including information like the video you watched, device IDs, IP addresses, cookie data, and location".

USA tech firm, Oracle claims that Google is snooping on Australian mobile subscribers. But it does not appear to mention the constant monitoring in the background when Maps is not in use. Presently, a gigabyte of data costs about $3.60-$4.50 a month.

Oracle is of course in the middle of an ongoing lawsuit against Google in the U.S. with regards to Google supposedly using protected Java APIs in Android.

USA software company Oracle has always been involved in a dispute with Google over the infringed use of Oracle's Java intellectual property.

In Australia, 10 million people use an Android phone, which is almost half of the population.

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