Google Fights Back At Oracle/ACCC Data Investigation

Cesar Mills
May 15, 2018

Android P is now available in beta for Pixel devices and a select few device manufacturers. According to the experts at Oracle cited by the ACCC, Google is draining around 1GB of mobile data monthly from Android phone users' accounts.

ACCC Chairman Rod Sims has confirmed this development and has said that investigation is on against the search giant. "We use various technologies to determine location, including IP address, GPS, and other sensors that may, for example, provide Google with information on nearby devices, Wi-Fi access points and cell towers", Google states in its privacy policy which is applicable to all the services offered by Google and its affiliates including YouTube, Android devices and services offered on other sites.

Now, considering more than 10 million Australians use Android phones, 1 GB data cost of 10 million Aussies translates to $445 million to $580 million a year.

That information could have been used by Google to determine the location of the devices even if location-determining features like Global Positioning System were disabled in the phone's settings.

"They are free to disable Google's Location Service at any time, and the data this service sends back to Google's location servers is anonymized".

Google, which is now being investigated as part of the ACCC's inquiry into digital platforms, has been accused of paying telco providers to send the tech company users' data.

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"We are exploring how much consumers know about the use of location data and are working closely with the privacy commissioner".

If we believe Oracle experts, then this auto-monitoring can be only stopped when the phone is switched off. Also, removing the SIM card does not stop it.

Among the data gathered were barometric pressure readings to determine the height at which an individual was, in order to work out if one was at a certain floor of a shopping complex.

"My people are looking into it", the ACCC's Mr Sims told News Corp Australia.

Oracle recently won a long-running dispute with Google over the latter company's use of Java in Android.

That Oracle had come to Australia to do the presentation showed the value of the ACCC inquiry, he said. "Oracle are here because we are doing the market inquiry". He said location sharing was opt in. But it said the spokesman had claimed that users could see what data was collected if they went to the My Account tab in Settings and they could also control it.

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