Google is under investigation in Australia for data collection via Android devices

Google using Australians' mobile data to spy on them: claim

Google using Australians' mobile data to spy on them: claim

Sunrise reported that there are over 10 million Android users in Australia.

The ACCC together with the Australian Privacy Commissioner are now reviewing the revealed information. Responding to data protection concerns from Google, the spokesman for the US-based company said it required user approval to collect their data.

In news that should be taken with a grain of salt, computer technology company Oracle has made claims to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's (ACCC) Digital Platforms Inquiry that Google is tracking Android phones and then using customers own data allowances to report it back to their servers.

According to Oracle, the data from locations is then being fed to advertisers to help serve more targeted advertising.

While Google's privacy consent says it only tracks your location when you actively use it - to "search for a restaurant on Google Maps or watch a video on YouTube", for example - Oracle says Google can access detailed information on users' location even when tracking services are turned off.

A fellow United States tech firm Oracle has reported that Google is prying on Australian mobile subscribers by not only tracking them but also collecting information related to a user's surfing patterns.

It said the Oracle experts had claimed that the snooping went on even if the mobile had no SIM or if aeroplane mode was on.

However, as per a report by Symantec, there are seven apps that have reappeared on the Google Play Store even after they alerted Google of the malware and original apps were henceforth removed. Google services users should technically be able to delete or turn of their location history.

"We are exploring how much consumers know about the use of location data and are working closely with the Privacy Commissioner", the ACCC said in a statement.

"Some mobile plans may only include a few gigabytes of data so if Google is harvesting a gigabyte of data, it is a very real cost to consumers", said David Vaile, chairman of the industry group, the Australian Privacy Foundation.

The apps also retain the ability to change the launcher icon and their "running apps" icon in the system settings once installed, again using well-known icons such as Google Play or Google Maps to avoid suspicion, as well as pushing content such as ads or scams to the device. With more than ten million Australians using Android phones, they could be paying $580 million in unnecessary fees every year.

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