Google investigated by Australian regulator over its Android data harvesting practices

15 May, 2018, 21:49 | Author: Sherry Houston
  • Google using Australians' mobile data to spy on them: claim

Rather than seeing green accents, there is more white in the user interface.

The availability in Android P also seems to suggest that this could be a feature that we might be able to see in future Android devices, or at least Google's Pixel handsets.

The claims were made by Oracle as part of evidence provided to an Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) investigation into the internet giant, amid claims that Google is secretly tracking the movements of all Android users. The company has been embroiled in a huge patent battle with Google over Android, and that legal fight isn't over yet.

Google also mapped IP addresses and Wi-Fi connection spots where mobile phones connected or attempted to connect, the report says.

Oracle has accused Google of spying on Android users in Australia, but that is not all - Oracle has claimed that Google is using 1 GB data of Android users themselves for this spying.

Among the data gathered were barometric pressure readings to determine the height at which an individual was, in order to work out if one was at a certain floor of a shopping complex. Then, by using this data with your coordinates, the search giant can know the shops you visited. The data will reveal whether online ads are leading to store visits.

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Oracle further claims that this data transfers to Google, which could be up to gigabytes per month, and is being paid by the users themselves.

However, beaming that much data back to Google costs gigabytes of mobile data that customers have unknowingly have been unknowingly paying for thinking that it reflects their data usage.

Australia's competition regulator is investigating accusations that Google harvests a large amount of data from Android devices, including detailed location information. "We are aware of the reports in the media and we have asked Google to advise whether they are accurate", a spokesman for Australia's biggest telecom company Telstra said. The ACCC is particularly concerned that digital platforms like Google and Facebook have tremendous influence on the advertising market.

For context, Oracle has actively been in court with Google for more than 5 years over whether Android's usage of Java was considered fair use, and is certainly not an unbiased party.

Google's privacy consent discloses that it tracks location "when you search for a restaurant on Google Maps".

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