Australian judge rules Google misled Android users on data

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FILE - In this Nov. 18, 2019, file photo, the logo of Google is displayed on a carpet at the entrance hall of Google France in Paris. Google broke Australian law by misleading users about personal location data collected through Android mobile devices, a judge found Friday, April 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Michel Euler, File)

CANBERRA – Google broke Australian law by misleading users about personal location data collected through Android mobile devices, a judge found Friday.

The Federal Court decision was a partial win for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, the nation’s fair trade watchdog, which has been prosecuting Google for broader alleged breaches of consumer law since October 2019.

Justice Thomas Thawley found that Google misled Android mobile device users about personal location data collected between January 2017 and December 2018.

“This is an important victory for consumers, especially anyone concerned about their privacy online, as the court’s decision sends a strong message to Google and others that big businesses must not mislead their customers,” Commission Chair Rod Sims said in a statement.

“We are extremely pleased with the outcome in this world-first case,” he added.

Google is considering an appeal to the full bench of the Federal Court.

“The court rejected many of the ACCC’s broad claims,” a Google statement said.

“We disagree with the remaining findings and are currently reviewing our options, including a possible appeal,” Google added.