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Oracle: Google is harvesting up to a gigabyte of data from users each month

AUSTRALIANS ARE reportedly ‘paying for the privilege’ of having their data harvested by Google.

An investigation has been launched by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) following reports that up to a gigabyte of data could be harvested from devices each month

Google was grassed up by its bestie, Oracle, with whom it has absolutely no beef whatsoever. Honest.

The spin-doctors of API apparently made a specific presentation to the ACCC as part of an existing inquiry into digital platforms, called by Australian media giants concerned about the effect of Google and Facebook on advertising markets in the region. Because diddums.

Oracle’s point is that Google can send location data, even if Location Services are off and if there’s no SIM or app installed.

Woah.

Apparently, Google has a map of IP addresses, WiFi points and cellular towers – all of which is enough to track down a handset pretty accurately, but then the barometric air pressure can even tell where in a building you are.

By the way – this isn’t specifically Android – the complaint is against Google specifically.

“They (Google and Facebook) are both extremely good at manipulating the law and they use those legalities,” said Australian Privacy Foundation Chair, David Vaile to The Guardian“The initial approach is to ignore any potential breaches of privacy and, as we have now seen, when people notice, their approach is to ask for forgiveness.”

Reports suggest that the data was originally harvested as part of the rolling out of Google Street View, but then just kept going, waiting for the next Mea Culpa moment.

Vaile added that whilst Google is slowly getting better at not taking the proverbial, it is still a “mosaic” of permissions and rights that don’t represent a clear-cut offering to consumers concerned about their privacy.

Google’s defence so far is that users consent to such data collection when they sign up, and the focus of the complaint will be centred on whether this consent is clear-cut by being in the main terms and conditions or if this level of snooping without explicit permission is a bridge too far. µ

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