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Australian Watchdog Accuses Google of Privacy Breaches


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The Google logo.

Australias consumer watchdog launched court action against Google on Monday, alleging the technology giant misled account holders about its use of their personal data.

Credit: Google

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has filed litigation against Google for allegedly misleading millions of Australian account holders about the use of their personal data.

In 2016, Google began combining users' personal Google account information with information from their activity on non-Google sites that used Google technology to display ads; the ACCC alleges Google "did not obtain explicit consent from customers" to do so.

Said ACCC's Rod Sims, "Consumers effectively pay for Google's services with their data, so this change introduced by Google increased the 'price' of Google's services, without consumers' knowledge."

Google argues account holders were asked to "consent via prominent and easy-to-understand notifications."

The court action comes as ACCC plans to issue draft rules for global digital platforms, like Facebook, to pay fair compensation for the journalistic content they use amid declining advertising revenue for legacy media due to the pandemic.

From Associated Press
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