Alphabet Inc’s Google Unit was ordered by Australia’s Federal Court to pay A$60million in penalties for misleading users on collection of their personal location data, according to Australia’s competition watchdog.
The court found that Google mislead some customers about their personal location data that was being collected through their Android mobile devices between January 2017 and December 2018.
Google misled users into believing that the “location history” setting on their Android phones was the only way location data could be collected. However, the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) found that a feature to monitor web and other application activity also allowed local data collection and storage.
Additionally, the watchdog estimates that 1.3 million Google account users in Australia may have been affected. The ACCC had started the proceedings against the company and its local unit in October 2019.
Previously, in 2018, the tech giant took remedial measures, the regulator added.
In an emailed statement, Google said that it had settled the matter and added that it has made location information simple to manage and easy to understand.
The search engine giant has been embroiled in legal action in Australia over the past few years as the government mulled and passed a law to make Google and Meta Platforms’ Facebook pay media companies for content on their platforms.