ACCC inspects Google’s data harvesting practices post Oracle’s claim

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is reportedly planning to investigate the claims of Google’s data harvesting put forth by software giant Oracle. The allegations state that Google gathers user data from Oracle’s Android smartphones every month.

According to the Australian authority, this data transfer has created privacy issues for nearly ten million Android mobile users in the country, who are paying telecom service providers for gigabyte consumption at the time of data harvesting. It has further stated that Oracle Corporation had made a presentation to ACCC, that is holding an inquiry into digital platforms. It has been claimed that the inquiry has been the result of the concerns raised by the Australian media firms over the influence of Facebook as well as Google on the advertising sector.

Sources cite that Oracle had requested the ACCC to look into the issue where Android smartphones send comprehensive information on Google searches and also the information that is being viewed. Oracle has also stated that smartphones also send out information about the specific location even if the site services are switched off.  It has even emphasized that the search engine giant has mapped IP addresses, mobile towers, and WIFI connection points, enabling Google to identify where a device is either connecting or attempting to connect without making use of the smartphone’s site service.

As per David Vaile, the chairman of the Australian Privacy Foundation, Google had earlier undertaken this task as a part of its Street View surveying.  However, the firm is now storing updated information about the Android smartphone users by gathering huge amounts of data that they routinely send. Google has responded that the information tracking is carried out with the consent of smart mobile users. However, some of the firms have raised doubts over whether it is a valid consent or not.

Experts assert that ACCC’s move raises eyebrows over Google’s ethical business practices and its sense of corporate social responsibility as well.