Tech giants Google is sued by The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) for alleged misuse of personal data.
ACCC said it was the first time a regulator anywhere in world had taken on the global giant, which has a current market value of about $US880 billion (A1.3 trillion), over the alleged misuse of personal data.
The ACCC said that as such, the tech giants had breached Australian consumer law.
“We are taking court action against Google because we allege that as a result of these on-screen representations Google has collected, kept and used highly sensitive and valuable personal information about consumers’ location without them making an informed choice,” ACCC chair Rod Sims said.
“This is a world-first case; this action in relation to misrepresentations in relation to the data Google collects, keeps and uses has never been taken before.”
“Some of the allegations we’re making today are under the old penalty regime, some are under the new, but going forward Australia now has a penalty regime that can actually make a difference,” Mr Sims said.
ACCC argued that the Google account holders who trying to maintain their privacy had been misled by Google about what needed to be done.
“Many consumers make a conscious decision to turn off settings to stop the collection of their location data, but we allege that Google’s conduct may have prevented consumers from making that choice,” Mr Sims said.
“Our case is that consumers would have understood as a result of this conduct that by switching off their Location History setting, Google would stop collecting their location data, plain and simple,” Mr Sims said.
“We allege that Google misled consumers by staying silent about the fact that another setting also had to be switched off.”