Australian court orders Google to pay $43 million for misleading users

Letters spell the word ‘alphabet’ as seen on a computer screen with a Google search page in this photo illustration taken in Paris, France, August 11, 2015. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol/File Photo

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Aug 12 (Reuters) – Australia’s competition watchdog said on Friday the Google unit of Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O) had been ordered by the country’s Federal Court to pay 60 million Australian dollars (42 $.7 million) in penalties for misleading users when collecting their personal location data. .

The court found that Google misled certain customers about personal location data collected through their Android mobile devices between January 2017 and December 2018. (https://reut.rs/3Ajr3Pn)

Google misled users into believing that the “location history” setting on their Android phones was the only way to collect location data, when a web and app activity monitoring feature allowed also collecting and storing local data, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said.

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The watchdog, which estimates that 1.3 million Google account users in Australia may have been affected, began legal action against the company and its local unit in October 2019.

Google took corrective action in 2018, the regulator said.

In an emailed statement, Google said it fixed the issue and added that it had made location information simple to manage and easy to understand.

The search engine giant has been embroiled in legal action in Australia over the past year as the government mulls and passes legislation requiring Google and Meta Platforms (META.O) Facebook to pay media companies for the content of their platforms. (https://reut.rs/3JRaTzz)

($1 = 1.4055 Australian dollars)

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Reporting by Navya Mittal in Bangalore; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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