Monday, 12 November, 2018

Oracle accuses Google of spying on Australians

Sherry Houston | 15 May, 2018, 22:35

Oracle has alleged that Google's Android mobile operating system silently allows Google to track and report the location of users, even when users have turned off their location services-and even when there is no SIM card in the mobile device. The company is being said to send back the location of Android users to its servers even if the location-based services are switched off. Google services users should technically be able to delete or turn of their location history. "We are exploring how much consumers know about the use of location data and are working closely with the privacy commissioner", said Geesche Jacobsen, a spokeswoman for the competition regulator. Oracle added that the transfer of this information was eating into users' data allowance purchased from their telecoms providers-up to a gigabyte a month, which seems like quite a lot to go unnoticed.

United States tech firm, Oracle claims that Google is snooping on Australian mobile subscribers.

Responding to the latest privacy concerns surrounding Google, a spokesman for the US based search engine operator said the company has users' permission to collect data.

Both the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the nation's Privacy Commissioner said they were reviewing the report's findings.

Reuters was unable to immediately verify the content of the Oracle report.

The investigation will also raise questions about how large technology companies collect and use consumer data online.

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.

Australian telecoms companies are now asking Google about the accuracy of the allegations.

Meanwhile, a Google spokesperson has told The Queensland Times that Oracle's presentation was "sleight of hand" and that users can see and control what data the Google collects and how it is being used by visiting the My Account section. Oracle's accusations hint that Google may not be complying with their own policies. Everyone who uses Google services must agree to these terms and conditions, but there is now a debate over whether this consent is valid.

The report said the inability to turn off the location services in Android poses a risk for individuals who want to hide their location for security purposes, like law enforcement officials and victims of domestic abuse.

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