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Google Ordered by Australian Court to Pay $42.7 Million Fine for Misleading Users on Data Collection

Google was found to have misled customers about personal location data collected from January 2017 to December 2018.

Google Ordered by Australian Court to Pay $42.7 Million Fine for Misleading Users on Data Collection

Photo Credit: Bloomberg

The watchdog estimates that 1.3 million Google account users in Australia may have been affected

Highlights
  • Google was ordered to pay a RUB 2 billion by Russia's regulator as well
  • Feature to monitor web, app activity also allowed local data collection
  • Around 1.3 million Google users in Australia may have been affected

Australia's competition watchdog said on Friday that Alphabet Inc's Google unit was ordered by the country's Federal Court to pay AUD 60 million (roughly Rs. 340 crore) in penalties for misleading users on the collection of their personal location data.

The court found Google misled some customers about personal location data collected through their Android mobile devices between January 2017 and December 2018.

Google misled users into believing "location history" setting on their android phones was the only way location data could be collected by it, when a feature to monitor web and applications activity also allowed local data collection and storage, the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) said.

The watchdog, which estimates that 1.3 million Google account users in Australia may have been affected, had started the proceedings against the company and its local unit in October 2019.

Last month, Google was fined by Russia's competition watchdog fined for abusing its dominant position in the video hosting market, the regulator said in a statement. The Alphabet's Google was ordered to pay a fine of RUB 2 billion (roughly Rs. 260 crore) by the regulator. The decision is the latest multi-million dollar fine as part of Moscow's increasingly assertive campaign against foreign tech companies. The Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) said the company had "abused its dominant position in the YouTube video hosting services market", without providing additional details.

"We will study the text of the official decision to define our next steps," Google said in a statement to Reuters.

Google must pay the fine within two months of it entering into force, the FAS said.

© Thomson Reuters 2022


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