Australia’s competition watchdog plans to investigate Google for allegedly gathering data from Android devices, including detailed location information, after US-based Oracle said the search giant is harvesting about 1GB of data per user per month to sell targeted adverts, The Australian reported.
The newspaper said Oracle, in a presentation to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), claimed more than 10 million Australians are sending their personal data to Google via Android smartphones and tablets without their knowledge. Android also is tracking users’ location even when GPS is turned off.
The Australian reported consumers are paying for the targeted adverts though their monthly phone plans.
ACCC chairman Rod Sims confirmed Oracle made a presentation and it will look into Google’s data gathering practices as part of an inquiry into digital platforms.
The commission initiated the inquiry in December 2017 after Australian media companies raised concerns about the impact Google and Facebook are having on the advertising market.
Google argued in the past it has the consent of users to track their phone usage.
The Guardian quoted Sims as saying: “We are exploring how much consumers know about the use of location data and are working closely with the privacy commissioner.”