Google has been sued in Australia for alleged misuse of personal data

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  • Australia’s competition regulator – Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has alleged that Google didn’t inform users clearly about how it used their personal data.
  • The Australian regulator alleges this has helped Google get consumer behavior information of millions of users.
  • For the tech giant Google, this is not a new accusation. It has been battling similar cases in several other countries.
Google is caught in yet another legal hassle. Australia’s competition regulator - Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has filed a fresh case against the tech giant.

The ACCC has alleged that Google didn’t clearly state or inform consumers - that in 2016 it combined personal information in Google accounts with activities on other websites that use the company’s technology.

This, the Australian regulator, alleges has helped Google get consumer behaviour information of millions of users, which could further help the company for targeted advertising for its platforms – Google Ad Manager and Google Marketing Platform brands.

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“We are taking this action because we consider Google misled Australian consumers about what it planned to do with large amounts of their personal information, including internet activity on websites not connected to Google,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said in a statement.

But this is not new for Google

Google lost a similar battle in France. Earlier in June, Google failed to win a plea against a $57 million fine in France for not being clear to Android users on how it uses the data of the users. The case was filed by France's data regulatory body CNIL.

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In May 2020, the state of Arizona had sued Google for illegal tracking of data from Android users.

In India too, the Competition Commission of India is looking into Alphabet Inc (Google’s parent company) regarding the misuse of its market position to push its own payments app.

This move from the Australian regulator comes at a time when Google along with Amazon, Facebook and Apple is set to testify in front of the Antitrust committee in the US over claims of their dominance over digital platforms.

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