Misleading users: Australian court asks Google to pay $43 million

The Federal Court of Australia ordered Alphabet Inc.’s Google business to pay A$60 million ($42.7 million) in fines for deceiving customers about the acquisition of their personal location data, the country’s competition authority said on Friday.

The court found that between January 2017 and December 2018, Google misled some users regarding the personal location data that was gathered through their Android mobile devices.

According to the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC), Google misled users into thinking that the “location history” setting on their Android phones was the only way for it to collect location data. However, a feature to track web and application activity also allowed local data collection and storage.

The watchdog, which believes that 1.3 million Australians with Google accounts may have been impacted, began legal action against the corporation and its local affiliate in October 2019.

The regulator claimed that Google corrected the situation in 2018.

In a message sent through email, Google claimed to have resolved the issue and said that it had made managing and comprehending location data straightforward.

As the government debated and passed legislation requiring Google and Meta Platforms’ Facebook to compensate media firms for content on their platforms, the search engine giant has been entangled in legal disputes in Australia over the past year.

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