Google probed in Australia for allegedly tracking phone users at their expense

They cited a Quartz report in November that showed the company collects location information from Android users even when they have turned off location services, haven't used any apps or even inserted a SIM card.

Google, which is now being investigated as part of the ACCC's inquiry into digital platforms, has been accused of paying telco providers to send the search giant users' data. All this information it shares with the advertisers to report how online ads have helped in increasing store visits.

As per some of the strings within the package, these predictive settings will take calendar and location data to carefully keep tabs on your routines and adequately suggest matching device settings. The U.S. based software company is seeking royalties for Google's use of some of the Java language, while Google argues it should be able to use Java without paying a fee. Noted security researcher and the former chief technologist for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Ashkan Soltani, had then opined through a tweet that Oracle may be the hidden source of the allegation: "After 5+ mo of lobbying @oracle managed to finally sell this important @google @android privacy story to the press".

While the allegations are not new and they first appeared in November of previous year, the whistleblower remained unknown then. According to Vaile, both Google and Facebook are in the commercial surveillance business, and selling services for advertising is the foundation of their business model.

However, Oracle "experts" have found that Google is tracking users' location data, even if Google Maps is not open.

Though the search giant says that it tracks user data only after a user has consented, all Android users know how such consent is obtained. "Users can see what data is collected and how it's used in one easy place, My Account, and control it all from there", the company said.

The regulator has reportedly met with the report's author to learn more about how Google services impact customers' privacy and finances.

As per the allegations, location data along with other major data points of Android users are being sent to Google servers using Android users' own data, which is approximately 1 GB, per month.

The statement said: "Google is completely focused on protecting our users' data while making the products they love work better for them".

"We are aware of the reports in the media and we have asked Google to advise whether they are accurate", a spokesman for Australia's biggest telecom company Telsta said.

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