Businesses Australia is taking on Google over privacy violations

Australia is taking on Google over privacy violations

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The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is arguing that Google’s notifications are misleading Australian consumers and using their personal information. Google has come under fire over the past few years for how it monitors users’ internet activity, allowing it to hone its targeted advertising.

What the ACCC is saying

Australia’s consumer watchdog will argue in front of the Federal Court that Google failed to appropriately and effectively inform customers of what they were getting into. Moreover, the ACCC will make the claim that the notifications posed by the tech giant have not been sufficiently harnessing informed consent. Google changed their privacy policy 4 years ago, using a binary “agree” or “disagree” option for users.

According to the ACCC, these privacy changes benefited Google’s financial position significantly. Rod Sims, who is the chairman of the ACCC, suggested that the changes allowed Google to massively increase the value of its advertising products, which led to much higher profits. Google has responded, adamantly denying the ACCC’s claims, arguing that they will actively defend the regulator’s claims.

Sundar Pichai and Google’s history

Sundar Pichai is the current CEO of Alphabet and Google and had vehemently defended the company since taking over the role of CEO in 2015. In December 2018, Pichai testified before the US Congress regarding perceived issues with Google’s privacy policy, alleged political biases and problems censoring in China. In his testimony, Pichai argued that Google’s employees could not influence or affect search results. He was adamant that there were no strategic plans to develop a censoring search app in China and that Google users can quickly opt-out of data collection.

In regards to their dispute with the ACCC, Google is reportedly cooperating with the Australian watchdog on this matter until a resolution met.

Henry Kentish
Henry Kentish
Henry Kentish is a national business reporter. Before coming to Quilter, Henry was the lead reporter on Business for SM in Melbourne. He reported on the national economy for Bloomberg News and BusinessWeek. He also spent a year in the US covering Australian business and politics issues.

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