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The Australian court holds Google guilty of misleading Android users about private data

The Australian court holds Google guilty of misleading Android users about private data
AP images

Australian federal court found Google guilty of misleading customers regarding collection of location data on Android phones.

Since 2019 Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has been pursuing legal action against Google for its “misleading behavior”.

According to ACCC, Google broke Australian consumer law at least from January 2017 when it gave users impression that they turned off data collection when “Location History” setting was turned off.

Google, according to court, did not adequately disclose to customers that it would have to disable both “location history” and “web and app activity” settings so that customers could prevent their personal information from being recorded by technicians and used to be giant.

Federal Judge Thomas Thawley stated that Google’s actions “did not mislead all reasonable users,” however would likely misled some reasonable users.

ACCC Chairman Rod Sims was “absolutely delighted” with the decision, calling it the “first decision of its kind in the world” on location data issues.

“Companies that collect information need to be clear and transparent about their attitudes so that consumers are not misled,” said Sims, adding, “Consumers should not be left in the dark when collecting their personal location information.”

The ACCC Chairman also said, “Today’s decision is an important step in ensuring that digital platforms let consumers know in advance what will happen to their data and what they can do to protect it.”

Google did not agree with the final decision and signaled that the possibility of an appeal was being examined. ACCC, meanwhile, is seeking court orders and fines against Google to be set later.

The Australia Institute Center for Responsible Technology, a think tank based in Canberra, said the case “highlights the complexities of big ’s terms and conditions.”

“The reality is that most people have little idea how much of their data is being used by Google and online platforms,” ​​the center’s director Peter Lewis said in a statement.

Lewis explained that most terms and conditions take an average of 74 minutes to read and that they are written such that a university education is required to understand.

Rob Nicholls, associate professor at the University of New South Wales, said the Epoch times While the ruling was an important decision that would affect the approach to “click-through” agreements on a global scale, it is unlikely to affect Google’s current business model.

“It was interesting that the ruling felt that the behavior was only partially misleading,” said Nicholls. “This is probably important in [Google’s] Appeal process. ”

Big companies like Google are not only casual about users’ personal data, they also use their platforms to support socialism. They only become more powerful when they corner their respective markets and reduce the competition that would hold them accountable.

How The new American reported that iPhone maker Apple has signed a contract with Google that has saved the search giant’s dominance in the market from viable competition – a contract that is being examined by the Justice Department as part of antitrust proceedings involving eleven states .

While Google has invested in various technologies like Android phones and owns major web platforms like YouTube, it is the technology giant’s flagship search engine that is still the biggest money cow. And in the area of ​​search engines, Google’s dominance is almost complete.

As Fox News noted of the DOJ’s claims:

Google owns or controls search distribution channels, which account for approximately 80% of searches in the United States. This means that Google’s competitors cannot get a meaningful number of searches or create a scale necessary to compete, so consumers have less choice and less innovation, and advertisers have less competitive prices.

Microsoft, like Google, strives to own as many services as possible. The company’s recent acquisitions include AI, healthcare, and social media companies planning to expand into messaging and biometrics.

Absolute power is dangerous, whether in the hands of a government agency or a corporation. The free market should hold companies accountable to people, but this cannot happen when such companies work together to prevent real competition.

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