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Google sued by Australia for privacy violation

By Lawrence Gash

Tech giant collected user location data even when turned off

Google sued by Australian regulatory for misuse and collection of user location data

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is suing Google (GOOGL) for allegedly tracking its mobile phone users’ location without their knowledge or approval.

Chairman of the ACCC Rod Sims stated: “Google has collected, kept and used highly sensitive and valuable personal information about consumers’ location without them making an informed choice.”

This is the latest in a series of cases against the world’s leading search engine. In the past two year the European Union alone has fined the tech giant €8.24bn ($9.13bn, £7.24bn) for abusing its monopoly and violating user privacy.

Google has not responded to the ACCC’s allegation that on-screen messages to users of the Android operating system did not adequately inform them that their location data would be collected even when they disabled the relevant settings on their Google accounts.

Stock in Google’s parent company Alphabet dropped in pre-market trading after announcing lower-than-expected Q3 earnings. Although seeing a 23 per cent decline in Q3 profits Alphabet has historically been able to withstand the hefty fines imposed by regulators around the world. It is one of the five highest capitalised companies in history.

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