Google misled data privacy

Google Misled Over Data Privacy: Australian Regulator

The Australian competition regulator has launched legal proceedings against Google for allegedly misleading consumers about the expanded use of personal data for targeted advertising.

The document submitted by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) in Federal Court said Google did not explicitly get consent nor properly inform consumers about a 2016 move to combine personal information in Google accounts with activities on non-Google websites that use its technology.

In June 2016, Google had changed the wording of its privacy policy, dropping a statement that it would not combine data known as “cookies” from its advertisement display business, DoubleClick, with users’ personal information.

Instead, the new policy read, “Depending on your account settings, your activity on other sites and apps may be associated with your personal information in order to improve Google services.”

The move comes amid heightened attention in much of the world on data privacy. U.S. and European lawmakers have recently stepped up their focus on how tech companies treat user data due to privacy concerns.

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“This change … was worth a lot of money to Google,” said commission chairman Rod Sims. “We allege they’ve achieved it through misleading behavior.”

The change allowed Alphabet Inc unit to link the browsing behavior of millions of consumers with their names and identities, providing it with extreme market power, the regulator added.

“We are taking this action because we consider Google misled Australian consumers about what it planned to do with large amounts of their personal information, including internet activity on websites not connected to Google,” ” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said in a statement.

Many Media houses are saying that Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment but as per the reports from Reuters, Google said:

The change was optional and consumer consent was sought through prominent and easy-to-understand notifications.

“If a user did not consent, their experience of our products and services remained unchanged,” a Google spokesman said in an email, adding that the company intends to defend its position.

The regulator said that Google used the combined data to boost targeted advertising – a key income source – and that it did not make clear to consumers the changes in its privacy policy.

“We will keep taking action, as will agencies overseas, and it will shape how these platforms behave, to make sure that the internet is a benefit to users, not a detriment.”

The regulator, through its action in Australia’s Federal Court, wanted to establish the common law on what providers in various jurisdictions could do, and was potentially seeking “millions” in damages, he added, without specifying a figure.

The regulator, through its action in Australia’s Federal Court, wanted to establish the common law on what providers in various jurisdictions could do, and was potentially seeking “millions” in damages, he added, without specifying a figure.

Mr. Ambani, India’s richest man, had said that “data is the new oil” as he stressed on the protection of Indian users’ data generated through the use of the internet as well as social media platforms. He said the country’s data must be controlled and owned by Indian people and not by corporates, especially global corporations.

To know more about About Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Click here

(Thanks – The Finance Post)

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