Freedomroo – Google breached Australian consumer law by failing to warn privacy-wary users about location data

Google has been slammed for failing to tell privacy-conscious users about location data information being stored

Google breached Australian consumer law by failing to warn privacy-conscious users about the collection of location data

  • Federal Court found Google breached consumer law with inadequate warning
  • Justice Thomas Thawley rejected Google’s defence that users had been told

A judge has slammed Google for failing to tell privacy-conscious users their location data was being stored.

The American search engine giant had argued smartphone users were clearly told Google would collect and use location data even when the location history was switched off.

But Federal Court Justice Thomas Thawley rejected that argument saying Google could have been clearer.

Google has been slammed for failing to tell privacy-conscious users about location data information being stored

Some users would have reached the correct conclusion but others, scanning through warnings and terms, would have concluded location history off meant the tech giant didn’t use their location data.

‘True it is that, after a careful examination of the content of both screens, the conclusions Google urged might be reached,’ he said.

‘That is not the issue. The screens were read by users setting up the device.

‘Such users, even ones with heightened privacy concerns, would not re-read screens with the kind of careful attention that has been necessary in considering the various arguments put by the parties.’

Justice Thawley found Google had engaged in conduct that was liable to mislead the public as to the nature, the characteristics, the suitability for their services. 

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