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Google under investigation in Australia for data collection via Android devices

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is starting an investigation. It is based on a recent report that claimed the American tech giant Google harvests large amounts of data from Android devices.

More details regarding the data collection by Google:

US tech firm, Oracle claims that Google is snooping on Australian mobile subscribers. It does so by tracking them and collecting information about their browsing habits. This to help it earn more advertising dollars. Oracle also found that Google could also be gathering round 1GB of person data monthly. This reportedly contains location info, even the place location providers are turned off, with no apps put in, and the place no SIM card is inserted.

According to reports: “Google has mapped IP addresses, Wi-Fi connection points, and mobile towers. This allows it to know where a device is connecting or attempting to connect without using the phone’s location service.”

The chairman of the ACCC, Rod Sims, has confirmed that Oracle representatives have briefed the regulator on the subject. According to him, “The ACCC met with Oracle and is considering information it has provided about Google services. We are exploring how much consumers know about the use of location data and are working closely with the privacy commissioner”.

(Decrypted data transferred to Google from Android phones)

Google’s privacy consent discloses that it tracks location “when you search for a restaurant on Google Maps”. But it does not appear to mention the constant monitoring in the background when Maps is not in use.

A gig of data currently costs about $3.60-$4.50 a month. Overall, the surreptitious data usage of Google costs Australian Android users almost $580 million a year. Currently, there are 10 million users in Australia using androids.