Australia probes claim Google harvests data, consumers pay

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

So, considering there are about 10 million Australian Android users, the amount comes to between $445 million and $580 million a year, notes The Daily Telegraph.

The ACCC together with the Australian Privacy Commissioner are now reviewing the revealed information.

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

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has commenced an investigation into Google's collection of Android user's data.

Australia's ACCC is using information from Oracle to investigate Google and Android's potential privacy issues and excess mobile data usage.

Australia has launched an investigation into the matter following a report by Oracle on the impact of Google and Facebook on the advertising market in the country.

They cited a Quartz report in November that showed the company collects location information from Android users even when they have turned off location services, haven't used any apps or even inserted a SIM card. According to The Chronicle, these accusations were brought forward by Oracle, a computer technology corporation that has been involved in a long and bitter legal battle with Google over intellectual property that Oracle claimed Google stole. Oracle also found that Google could also be gathering round 1GB of person data monthly. For instance, using barometric pressure readings, the search giant can track which level of a shopping mall you are on. But it does not appear to mention the constant monitoring in the background when Maps is not in use.

"We investigate how users know about the use of their location data, and work closely with the Privacy Commissioner", said Geesche Jacobsen, a spokesman for the competition regulator. Presently, a gigabyte of data costs about $3.60-$4.50 a month. Everyone who uses Google services must agree to these terms and conditions, but there is now a debate over whether this consent is valid.

Meanwhile, ACCC Chairman Rod Sims is quoted to have said he was briefed by experts at Oracle who had intercepted, copied, and decrypted messages sent back to Google from smartphones running on the company's Android OS.

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

Latest News