Google sued by Australian watchdog over location tracking

It’s about the ability to turn off location tracking on Android phones and tablets. During the Android installation process, users will see a Location History option. Disabling this option does not disable collection of all location data. Users must also disable the “Web & App Activity” setting.

According to the ACCC, users are being misled by the information Google collects about them. “We claim that Google has used these screens to collect, store and use highly sensitive and valuable personal information about the location of consumers without them making an informed decision,” said Rod Sims, chairman of ACCC, in a statement.

“Many consumers are consciously choosing to turn off settings to stop capturing their location data, but we suspect Google’s behavior has prevented consumers from making that choice,” he added.

The trial follows an ACCC commitment to investigate how companies like Google use algorithms to match users to ads. In the past, the ACCC has also investigated whether Google and other technology companies are hindering competition in the news space and brought the company to justice because it is responsible for misleading ads that appear as search results.

The lawsuit against Google has begun in federal court in New South Wales, Australia. In a statement, Google said, “We continue to work with the ACCC and intend to defend this matter.”