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Tech & Science Is Google Illegally Spying On Us? ACCC Investigation Looms

03:51  16 may  2018
03:51  16 may  2018 Source:   lifehacker.com.au

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Is Spying on Someone Illegal – Law Vs Morality. After Snowden had revealed how governments are eavesdropping on all of us , the idea of hacking and spying became a street folk talk. If you want to spy on your spouse legally, you need Google , Facebook and other publicly available info about them.

a group of men posing for a photo© Getty

Google is being investigated by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission following revelations, that came to light through research by Oracle, that the company has been using mobile plan phone data to track the movements of Android phone users. And that is costing users a pretty penny as the data being collected adds about 1GB to the monthly use of many users.

Google and Oracle aren't the best of friends so it's not surprising to see the two embroiled in controversy. Back in 2010, Oracle purchased Sun Microsystems. Part of that deal gave them ownership of Java and, after a protracted legal battle - which is likely to see another appeal - Oracle won a case over patent infringement by Google.

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Is Google Illegally Spying On Us ? ACCC Investigation Looms May 15, 2018 Google is being investigated by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission following revelations, that came to light through

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According to Oracle, Google was pulling down about 1GB of data from users' handsets each month without consent. As well as location data, which many people have some awareness of, Oracle says information like barometric pressure is also snaffled up. That would allow Google to get a more precise fix on your location so they could determine which stores you visited in a multilevel shopping centre as they could determine your position relative to sea level.

Part of the claim being made is that Google's actions have a financial aspect. This is presumably why the ACCC and not the Office of The Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) is involved. The OAIC is typically the agency involved with privacy breaches. According to

According to reports by News Limited, the leaked data is worth $3.60-$4.50 a month. And with at least 10 million Australians using an Android handset, that's around half a billion dollars of data Google is siphoning.

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THE ACCC is investigating accusations Google is using as much as 0 million worth of Australians’ phone plan data annually to secretly track their movements. Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman Rod Sims said he was briefed recently by US experts who had

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While there are options to stop some types of data tracking, it's alleged that the only way to stop Google accessing this data is to turn your phone off. Adjusting settings or even going into flight mode isn't enough as the data is collected whenever the device is powered on.

Such data is extremely valuable to Google. As the value of online advertising is being scrutinised, Google wants to be able to prove the value of their offering. Having data that allows them to connect the ads being presented to a person with their movements gives them insights for both advertisement effectiveness and for targeting ads to draw people to particular stores.

Given it'sPrivacy Awareness Week, it's a good time to think about how we are being tracked and measured. If it's established that's Oracle's allegations are correct, there are significant implications. In particular, if it's proven that there is no option to opt out of some of the tracking and Google has not made it clear that they are collecting the data, this would seem to be a failure to follow the Australian Privacy Principles.

Optus has been fined $1.5 million for pushing customers onto the NBN earlier than they needed to .
Optus has been handed a $1.5 million fine over misleading claims involving the NBN, with the Federal Court penalising the telco for what it told customers about their transition from Optus’ HFC network to the National Broadband Network. Competition regulator the ACCC began legal action against Optus last December, alleging it misled around 14,000 customers over 18 months about the need to move quickly from its existing HFC network to the NBN.The ACCC said Optus made around $750,000 between October 2015 to March 2017, when it told 14,000 customers their services would be disconnected if they did not move to the NBN.

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