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Australian Watchdog sues Google over users’ privacy concerns

Australian Watchdog sues Google over users’ privacy concerns
Australian Watchdog sues Google over users’ privacy concerns

Technology giant Google Inc. continues to face legal disputes in the area of privacy of users. Recently, Australia’s competition watchdog has launched a federal court proceeding against Sundar Pichai-run Google, alleging that the company is using users’ personal data for targeted advertising.

The ACCC (Australian Competition and Commission) said in the statement that Google is misleading consumers about how it collects, keeps, and uses personal location data. The agency said that the company did not get consent nor properly inform users about a 2016 move to integrate personal data in Google accounts with actions on non-Google websites that use its technology.

From June 2016 until at least December 2018, Google account users were prompted to click “I agree” to a pop-up notification that allows Google to integrate users’ data, and sought the users’ consent for the same.

The pop-up notification also stated that additional information will be available in users’ Google account making it convenient for them to control and review. It also stated that the company will use this information to make targeted ads across the web.

The competition watchdog said that this practice allowed Google to track customer behavior elsewhere on the internet. It also alleges that Google used combined data to accelerate targeted advertising and did not inform users about changes in its privacy policy.

Speaking on which, Rod Sims, Chairman at ACCC said that Google misled Australian consumers about what it planned to handle a large amount of personal information, including internet activity on websites not linked to Google.

The agency’s move comes amid heightened attention of the world on users’ data privacy. Recently, major European and U.S lawmakers have come forward to focus on how companies handle data.

Meanwhile, Google did not respond to requests for a comment.

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Sunil Jha

Sunil Jha has been a part of the content industry for close to two years. Having previously worked as a voice over artist and sportswriter, he now focuses on writing articles for, across a slew of topics, ranging from technology to trade and finance. With a business-oriented educational background, Sunil brings forth the expertise of deep-dive research and a strategic approach in his write ups.