HomesecurityACCC: Sues Google for using data without consent

ACCC: Sues Google for using data without consent


Η Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has filed a lawsuit against Google with the accusation that the company did not receive explicit consent from consumers when it decided to extend its privacy policy and use data.

Google is accused of using personal information from them accounts Google consumers in conjunction with information about the activities of these people on non-Google sites. The purpose is display ads, despite the fact that no explicit consent has been given.

“This means that the data on the internet activity of users, other than Google, linked to their names and other identities held by Google. Previously, this information was kept separate from users' Google Accounts, which means that data they were not connected to a single user, "said the ACCC.

From June 28, 2016 to December 2018, Google Account holders were asked to click "I Agree" on a Google pop-up notification that supposedly explained how it planned to expand its use of personal data in order to obtain their consent.

The notice said: "We have introduced some optional features for your account, giving you more control over data collected by Google and how they are used, while allowing Google to show you more relevant ads ”.

The alert continued: "More information will be available to your Google Account, making it easier for you to check in" and "Google will use this information to more relevant ads for you".

According to the ACCC, the notice was misleading, as consumers could not properly understand the changes made by Google, nor how to use them data their.

"We believe that many consumers, if properly informed, may have refused to consent to Google combining and using such a wide range of personal information for the financial benefit of the company," said the ACCC president. , Rod Sims.


The ACCC also said that Google misled consumers about it and another change in its privacy policy. According to this change, “depending on your account settings, your activity on other sites and applications may be linked to your personal information in order to improve Google services and ads displayed by the company.

Google 's updated privacy policy stated: "We will not restrict your rights under this Privacy Policy without your express consent."

The ACCC claims that as Google did not receive explicit consent from consumers regarding this change to its privacy policy, its statement that it would not reduce consumer rights without their explicit consent was also misleading.

"We are doing this because we believe that Google misled Australian consumers about what it planned to do with a large amount of their personal information, including their online activity in sites "They are not affiliated with Google," said Sims.

"Using this new combined information has allowed Google to significantly increase the value of its advertising products, which have brought it much higher profits."

ACCC believes that consumers pay effectively for Google services with their data, so this change introduced by Google increased the "price" of its services, without the knowledge of consumers.

At the same time, Google is facing a separate lawsuit from the ACCC for misleading consumers about how to collect data location on Android devices. For this lawsuit, the ACCC had claimed that during 2017 and 2018, Google did not inform Australian citizens that should have turned off location history setting on Android, as well as setting for internet and app activity, to prevent Google from storing location data.

"We claim that Google misled consumers by not saying that the other setting (other than location history setting) should be turned off," Sims said in October last year.

On the other hand, Google said that the ACCC claims do not reflect the way Android devices handle data location.


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