Google misled customers to mine personal data, says Australian regulator
SYDNEY (AUSTRALIA) – The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) on Monday blamed Google for misleading customers to seek permission for use of their personal data for targeted advertising. The regulator has sought a fine “in the millions” aiming to set a precedent.
This comes as across the world countries are stepping up scrutiny of data privacy with US and European lawmakers examining how tech firms treat user information.
In court documents, ACCC accused Google of not getting explicit consent or properly telling customers of a 2016 move to combine personal information in Google accounts with browsing activities on non-Google websites.
“This change … was worth a lot of money to Google,” said commission chairman Rod Sims. “We allege they’ve achieved it through misleading behaviour.”
The change enabled Google to connect the browsing style of millions of consumers with their names and identities, providing it with extreme market power, ACCC said.
“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,” Sims said.
Meanwhile, Google said the change was optional and consumer consent was sought through prominent and easy-to-understand notifications.
(Photos syndicated via Reuters)
This story has been edited by BH staff and is published from a syndicated field