The reports about secret usage of data by Google were whirling around in November 2017. Though the source of reports was unknown, the accusations gripped the tech giant. Though security experts claimed that Oracle might have leaked the story, there was no evidence. The feud between Google and Oracle can be a basis for this, but there was no firm evidence to support the basis. Now, Oracle has asked Australian investigators to track Google’s data spying. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) have been looking into the matter. Oracle claimed that Google has been tracking location of Android users even when the location services are turned off and sim card is not inserted. The company gave a presentation to ACCC regarding the influence of Facebook and Google on the advertising industry. Moreover, it claimed that Android devices send information about browsing and search history to Google.
“We are exploring how much consumers know about the use of location data and are working closely with the Privacy Commissioner,” the ACCC said in a statement. The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner stated that it was “making inquiries with Google.”
Oracle outlined that the data transfers equals to nearly a gigabyte per month and users have been paying for this. The battle between Google and Oracle has been taking place for past years. Responding to accusations by Oracle, Google stated that Oracle has been the major player in behind data spying.
“Google is completely focused on protecting our users’ data while making the products they love work better for them. Users can see what data is collected and how it’s used in one easy place, My Account, and control it all from there,” said Google. “Like many of Oracle’s corporate tactics, this presentation is sleight of hand, not facts, and given that Oracle markets itself as the world’s biggest data broker, they know it.”
The search engine giant clarified that the information about locations is sent back to the servers of Google and remains anonymous. The location data is not traceable to a specific user. However, Oracle has not responded to the clarification of Google.
Industry analysts have estimated that there are nearly 10 million Android users in Australia. Data privacy advocates have highlighted that many consumers may not understand what terms they had agreed to while signing up for using a smartphone. “Some mobile plans may only include a few gigabytes of data so if Google is harvesting a gigabyte of data, it is a very real cost to consumers,” said David Vaile, chairman of the industry group, the Australian Privacy Foundation.
Telecommunication companies from Australia have been seeking confirmation about these allegations from Google. Oracle has been asked for royalties from Google for usage of Java language, while Google said that the company should be able use it without any permission. Only time will tell if data spying allegations are true and what will happen next in the battle between Google and Oracle.