#Privacy: Australian regulator files lawsuit against Google 

A lawsuit has been filed against Alphabet Inc’s Google over the alleged misuse of location data. 

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has stated that the local Google unit did not inform users of its Android operating system for two years, that if they did not want the tech giant to keep their information, they had to switch off two settings, rather than just one. 

The ACCC wrote in a Federal Court filing on Tuesday, which was published on its website: “Google’s conduct caused users to understand that personal data about their location was not being obtained … by Google when in fact personal data was being obtained.

“The misleading information provided by Google meant that users were not able to make an informed choice.”

The lawsuit follows an 18-month investigation by the ACCC into digital platforms in Australia – which made 23 recommendations including the introduction of a privacy code for tech companies in Australia. 

A spokeswoman from Google has said that the company would defend the matter and the allegations against them are being reviewed. 

The lawsuit also claims that consumers were led to believe that they could evade location tracking by avoiding Google services such as Maps. 

ACCC Chair Rod Sims told reporters: “We want declarations that the current behaviour should not continue.

“We want significant penalties and … we want Google to have to let people know what has gone on, so that people have a greater awareness of what data is actually being collected here and what it is being used for.”

Currently, the Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner is also conducting an investigation into Google over an alleged breach of privacy laws. 

According to the Federal Court website, the matter is scheduled for a case management hearing on November 14. 


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