The technology giant Google is being investigated in Australia for allegedly collecting data from millions of Android smartphone users. Responding to data protection concerns from Google, the spokesman for the US-based company said it required user approval to collect their data.
The Australian investigation is linked to allegations made in an Oracle report about the impact of Google and Facebook on the advertising market. The Australian Commission for the Protection of Competition and Consumers and the Privacy Commissioner say they are looking at the findings in the report.
“We investigate how users know about the use of their location data, and work closely with the Privacy Commissioner”, said Geesche Jacobsen, a spokesman for the competition regulator.
The company gets detailed information about people’s searches on the internet and their location if they have an Android phone – the Google mobile operating system.
Transferring this information to Google means the use of gigabytes of data paid by consumers in the form of data packages from telecommunication service providers.
Privacy experts argue that many consumers hardly understand exactly what they agree when they sign up for a smartphone. The analysts commented that there are over 10 million Android users in Australia.
Australian telecoms companies say they are seeking Google’s confirmation of the charges.
The investigation will also raise questions about how large technology companies collect and use consumer data online.