Google, in Australia, is under an investigation after it was reportedly claimed that this giant of the internet has been digging user data from millions of smartphones of Android users, without their consent. The allegations made were done by the Oracle, a company, who even produced the evidence that Alphabet, Google’s parent company, has been involved in illegally collecting detailed information from search histories and locations provided by the users of various Android owners in Australia. According to the (ACCC) Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, from the report submitted to them, the data collection from every month sums up to about a GB per device.
The report from Oracle affirms that the user information being transferred consumes up a part of the user's each month data quota, claiming that people of Australia are unknowingly making payments to their telcos only to have their privacy exploited through their details being exposed to Google. Android users being more than ten million in Australia, the intensity of the upraising privacy concerns regarding user specific details is serious. Just after the scandal of Facebook Cambridge analytica, this has been brought into the attention of Australia's Privacy Commissioner prompting to take this case into an investigation as well.
Australian Privacy Foundation Chairman, David Vaile said: “A few mobile plans may only involve a few GBs of data, if incase Google has been harvesting data per GB every month, it costs big time to the customers. A spokeswoman from ACCC stated that the monitoring body had a meeting with Oracle and is taking the available information it has offered about Google into consideration.
In the opinion of Vaile, Google initiated this data collection as a part of its project named Street View, but now the data is being kept updated through regular transferring of information of Android users. On the other hand, Google persists that the data collection is only done after seeking permission from the user. In the meanwhile, interms of the allegations, Australian telcos approached Google to attain more information. A spokesperson working for Telstra, the largest telco in Australia, addingly said, “We are up to date with all the allegations made abd of the various reports surfacing on the media and we contacted Google to hear their side of the story and to verify the accuracy of the news.”