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Australian regulator sues Google for consumer fraud

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The Australian Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (ACCC) sued Google, accusing the company of tricking users into collecting their personal data. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, companies face fines of up to Australian $ 10 million, or up to 10% of Australia’s annual turnover.

After verifications, the regulator showed that users had the impression that they could prevent the company from accessing their location data by disabling the “Location History” option in their account. However, this data continued to flow to Google through the settings of the “Web & App Activity”, it follows from the lawsuit.

According to the regulator, Google should have explained to users that they need to turn off both settings if they want their data to not go anywhere. As a result, the company collected data without the knowledge of citizens and preventing them from making informed choices, said ACCC CEO Rod Sims.

The company is also accused of creating a false impression among users that it was possible to prohibit the collection of their data only in the event of a complete rejection of a number of services, although in reality, it would be enough to just change certain settings. Users were also tricked as to where their data will be applied, follows from the lawsuit.

Google is investigating the lawsuit and discussing the allegations with an ACCC representative, a company spokeswoman said.

Australia is a small market for Google, a fine multiple of the company’s turnover is unlikely to be significant for it, notes the Sydney Morning Herald. The publication believes that the court decision on this lawsuit could become examples for regulators in other countries.

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