The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (or ACCC) is Australia's equivalent of the FTC in the United States, regulating business practices to protect the consumer and promoting healthy competition among businesses.
The technology giant Google is being investigated in Australia for allegedly collecting data from millions of Android smartphone users.
The Australian investigations stem from allegations made by Oracle Corp in a report provided as part of an Australian review into the impact that Google, owned by Alphabet Inc, and Facebook Inc have on the advertising market. We provide users with notice and control over the collection, sharing and use of location in order to provide a better mobile experience on Android devices. This reportedly contains location info, even the place location providers are turned off, with no apps put in, and the place no SIM card is inserted. Fortune further reports that "Oracle also said Android devices sent Google detailed information on people's searches and surfing".
"We investigate how users know about the use of their location data, and work closely with the Privacy Commissioner", said Geesche Jacobsen, a spokesman for the competition regulator. For instance, using barometric pressure readings, the search giant can track which level of a shopping mall you are on. Google services users should technically be able to delete or turn of their location history.
However, beaming that much data back to Google costs gigabytes of mobile data that customers have unknowingly have been unknowingly paying for thinking that it reflects their data usage.
The apps also retain the ability to change the launcher icon and their "running apps" icon in the system settings once installed, again using well-known icons such as Google Play or Google Maps to avoid suspicion, as well as pushing content such as ads or scams to the device.
For context, Oracle has actively been in court with Google for more than 5 years over whether Android's usage of Java was considered fair use, and is certainly not an unbiased party.
Like the US senators, Australian regulators question whether consumers have given valid consent for the extent of Google's information collection.