Australia Finds Google Misled Users Over Data Collection

Australia’s federal court found that Google misled users about personal location data collected through Android mobile devices between 2017 and 2018, the country’s competition regulator said Friday. That would qualify as a #Fail:

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) — which launched legal proceedings against Google in 2019 — said the ruling was an “important victory for consumers” with regard to the protection of online privacy. Google misled Android users into thinking the search giant could collect personal data only if the “location history” setting was on, the ACCC said. The court found that Google could still collect, store and use personally identifiable location data if the setting for “web and application activity” was on — even if “location history” was turned off. “This is an important victory for consumers, especially anyone concerned about their privacy online, as the Court’s decision sends a strong message to Google and others that big businesses must not mislead their customers,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said in a statement.

Google is likely to appeal this. But this is a great decision that I hope that other countries copy. That would send a message that Google and other companies will notice. On top of that, I hope that Australia really lays the smack down on Google.

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