Oracle Accuses Google of Secretly Tracking Users

Oracle Accuses Google of Secretly Tracking Users

Oracle warned users that Google could also be accessing their location data even when they are not using GPS-enabled apps and if their phone is in aeroplane mode.

Transferring that information to Google means using up gigabytes of data that consumers have paid for under data packages purchased from local telecom service providers, according to the Oracle report.

Like the USA senators, Australian regulators question whether consumers have given valid consent for the extent of Google's information collection. Now, Oracle has come out in the open by repeating the same allegations to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) in a presentation. All it takes to expose users to data collection, say the letter's authors, is to allow an "ambiguously described feature" once and then it is silently enabled across all signed-in devices without an expiration date.

Reuters was unable to immediately verify the content of the Oracle report. The ACCC is particularly concerned that digital platforms like Google and Facebook have tremendous influence on the advertising market.

Quartz first reported in January about the sly and confusing ways Google cajoles Android users to opt into Location History, and the plethora of data points the company collects when it's enabled.




Google's privacy policy states that they save "When you search for a restaurant on Google Maps or watch a video on YouTube, for example, we process information about that activity - including information like the video you watched, device IDs, IP addresses, cookie data, and location".

The investigation will also raise questions about how large technology companies collect and use consumer data online.

At that time, the allegations also mentioned the possible sale of location data to advertisers by Google, who could then serve contextual and location-specific ads to the user.

"We are aware of the reports in the media and we have asked Google to advise whether they are accurate", said a spokesman for Australia's biggest telecom, Telsta. Oracle's accusations hint that Google may not be complying with their own policies. Currently, there are 10 million users in Australia using androids.

Earlier this month Symantec discovered 38 malicious apps carrying the Android.Reputation.1 Trojan on the Play Store disguised as game and education apps - hiding their existence from users by removing their icons from the home screen.

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