The Australian Consumer Protection Agency files a lawsuit against the local Google unit. The agency claims that Google has made false statements regarding the shutdown of location tracking on Android devices. The Australian Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (ACCC) has appealed to the Federal Supreme Court alleging that Google misappropriated its location data by misrepresenting geo-tracking on Android smartphones owned by Australian users.
Reuters reports that the company reported incomplete and sometimes incorrect information. For example, consumers have not been able to make informed choices and see their will to be taken unfairly.In concrete terms, the consumer protection agency of the Australian Google branch accuses the users to have concealed that under Android it is quite possible to avoid geo-tracking by switching off the location history and the web and app activities. Instead, Google claims that the only way to not submit location data is to use neither Google Search nor Google Maps. We had already reported on the problem in August 2018 and pointed out to our readers that in addition to switching off the location history, the shutdown of the web and app activities is always required. However, we had not come to the conclusion that Google here provides incorrect or incomplete information. The ACCC expects to impose a “significant” penalty as well as an obligation to actively inform the deceived users. The aim would be to change the overall practice of data collection. Google wants to defend itself against the lawsuit and is currently still in the clarification phase. For the ACCC, the lawsuit against Google is only part of a larger campaign against American Internet companies. Next to Google is also Facebook on the list of the ACCC. The agency wants to see the privacy of Australian users more protected and has already called on legislators to legislate tougher laws.