Google misled Android users about location data collection – Security

Google misrepresented to individuals what privacy settings do in its Android cellular functioning technique, the Federal Court docket has uncovered in a globe-1st situation brought by the Australian Competitors and Consumer Fee.

ACCC was in a position to show that in contrast to what Google claimed, turning off the Locale Historical past location in Android did not quit the assortment, storage and use of consumers’ individually identifiable area knowledge.

One more Android location, Web & Application Activity, that was turned on by default, meant that people’s area knowledge was collected, which was deceptive for buyers.

“In between January 2017 and December 2018, individuals ended up led to believe that ‘Location History’ was the only account location that affected the assortment of their personal area knowledge, when that was basically not true,” ACCC chair Rod Sims reported.

“Companies that gather facts must reveal their settings clearly and transparently so individuals are not misled. Customers should not be held in the dim when it arrives to the assortment of their personal area knowledge,” he included.

Furthermore, customers who tried out to opt out of Locale Historical past assortment ended up not instructed between nine March 2017 and 29 November 2018 that leaving Web & Application Activity on meant Google would go on to harvest area knowledge on Android devices. 

Locale knowledge is used by Google for many expert services like its Maps app, but also for targetted promotion.

Info by now collected can be deleted by means of customers Google accounts.

ACCC began proceedings from Google in Oct 2019.

The watchdog is now looking for but to be determined financial penalties for Google, along with an buy demanding the worldwide tech large to publish a discover that better explains the area knowledge settings.