Google has misled people about its placement experience, according to an Australian judge

The court ruled that, contrary to its claims, Google can capture, store, and use location data even if “location history” is disabled, as long as the concept of “network and app operation” is broad enough. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission filed the complaint. “We disagree with the conclusions,” Google says.

According to the country’s competition regulator, a federal court in Australia has found that Google deceived customers about the processing of personal information about their location using mobile devices with the Android operating system between 2017 and 2018.

The decision was a “significant win for users in terms of securing online privacy,” according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), which filed legal action against Google in 2019. Google has tricked consumers into believing that it will only gather personal information if “setup history” is allowed in the settings, according to the commission’s announcement. And if the location history is switched off, the court ruled that Google will still capture, store, and use location information if the definition of “network and app operation” is available.

The court’s decision sent a clear warning to Google and other big technology firms not to confuse users, which is a significant win for consumers, particularly for anybody concerned about online privacy,” said committee chairman Rod Sims.


In addition, a Google spokesperson said that the court had dismissed all of the charges leveled against the company. “We disagree with the remaining conclusions, and we are currently considering our options, including filing an appeal,” the spokesperson said.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and Google were still involved in a spat earlier this year over a proposed law requiring internet companies to pay for news material.