The Australian Federal Court on Friday ordered the tech giant Google to pay over $40 million in penalties for making misleading representations to consumers about the collection and use of their location data on Android phones.
The Court previously found that Google breached the Australian Consumer Law by representing to some Android users that the setting titled “Location History” was the only Google account setting that affected whether Google collected, kept, and used personally identifiable data about their location.
Another Google account setting titled “Web & App Activity” also enabled Google to collect, store and use personally identifiable location data when it was turned on, and that setting was turned on by default.
The ACCC estimated that the users of 1.3 million Google accounts in Australia may have viewed a screen found by the court to have breached the Australian Consumer Law.
Google took remedial steps and addressed all of the contravening conduct, meaning that users were no longer shown the misleading screens.
“Companies need to be transparent about the types of data that they are collecting and how the data is collected and may be used so that consumers can make informed decisions about who they share that data with,” said ACCC Chair, Gina Cass-Gottlieb.