Google Under Investigation For Using Customer Data To Track Their Movements

And they may have racked up a $580 million bill doing so.

What you need to know
  • The ACCC is investigating Google for using customer data
  • Oracle claims Google is using the data of Android phone users to snoop on their online habits
  • Google dismisses the claims as 'corporate tactics'

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is investigating claims that Google used up to $580 milllion worth of Australian users' data each year to secretly track them.

Experts from the computer company Oracle claim Goggle is using the data of Android phone users to snoop on their online habits by means of collecting data for advertisers.

Oracle estimates Google uses as much as one gigabyte of customer data each month without the knowledge of users.

Oracles is accusing Google of using customer's data without their knowledge. Image: Getty Images.

"The ACCC met with Oracle and is considering information it has provided about Google services," an ACCC spokesperson told ten daily.

As part of the investigation, the ACCC is looking at the practices of platforms like Google and Facebook, as well as how well users are informed about these.

"We are exploring how much consumers know about the use of location data and are working closely with the Privacy Commissioner," the spokesperson said.

Oracle says Google would rack up a bill of as much as $580 million annually if they used one gig of data from each Australian user.

But Google says Oracle's claims are nothing more than marketing tactics working to present Google in a bad light.

“Google is completely focused on protecting our users’ data while making the products they love work better for them," a Google spokesperson told ten daily.

"Like many of Oracle’s corporate tactics, this presentation is sleight of hand, not facts, and given that Oracle markets itself as the world’s biggest data broker, they know it.”

Google says sharing data with them is purely an opt-in thing. Image: Getty Images

Sharing data with Google is done on an opt-in basis according to the spokeperson.

"We provide users with notice and control over the collection, sharing and use of location in order to provide a better mobile experience on Android devices. Any location data that is sent back to Google location servers is anonymized and is not tied or traceable to a specific user."

The spokesperson also said Australians are very data-safe and are aware that they can control what they share with Google. In 2017, Australians visited Google's settings management page over 22 million times to monitor the data they are sharing with the company.

 "Users can see what data is collected and how it’s used in one easy place, My Account, and control it all from there."