Are Australian consumers paying for Google’s data collection?
Google is under investigation by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the country’s Privacy Commissioner following claims that it collects data from millions of Android smartphone users, who unwittingly pay their telecoms service providers for gigabytes consumed by the activity, reports Reuters. Responding to the latest privacy concerns surrounding Google, a spokesman for the US based search engine operator said the company has users’ permission to collect data. “Any charges for transmission of data over a cellular connection, including any location-related data, would be governed by a user’s mobile carrier plan,” Google said in a statement. “The types and quantity of such data that a user’s device transmits would depend on the products or services they use, and in some cases a user’s settings,” it added. The Australian investigations are set to focus on allegations made by Oracle, the software firm, in a report provided as part of a review into the impact that Google and Facebook have on the advertising market. “Oracle, according to The Australian newspaper, said Alphabet [Google’s parent] receives detailed information about people’s internet searches and user locations if they have a phone that carries Android – the mobile operating system developed by Google. Transferring that information to Google means using up gigabytes of data that consumers have paid for under data packages purchased from local telecoms service providers, according to the Oracle report.” Reuters says it was unable to immediately verify the content of the Oracle report. “Some mobile plans may only include a few gigabytes of data so if Google is harvesting a gigabyte of data, it is a very real cost to consumers,” said David Vaile, chairman of the industry group, the Australian Privacy Foundation. Read more
- Monday, 21 May 2018