Australia is the latest country to mount action against Google, alleging that the tech giant "misled" consumers over location privacy policies.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is spearheading a legal challenge in the Federal Court, accusing Google of failing to inform customers that their location data would continue to be collated even after they had disabled such permissions in their settings.
Google also stands accused of further misleading Australians with on-screen communications informing them that location data would only be used to power services such as Google Maps. Regulators claim Google failed to disclose that such data was actually harnessed to personalise ad;, measure advertising performance; relay statistics to third parties and obtain demographic information on users.
In a statement, ACCC chairman Rod Sims said: “Google has collected, kept and used highly sensitive and valuable personal information about consumers’ location without them making an informed choice.”
The action compounds several ongoing cases for Google, which is facing probes in Europe and the United States over its collection and use of consumer data.
Google has said it is reviewing the most recent suit and will defend itself in court.
On Tuesday (29 October) the search giant revealed it is also battling a slump in profit.