Alphabet Inc Class C (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL) are engaged in a long-stand feud that has sparked a debate over personal data and privacy. The battle has now led to an investigation by Australian authorities into Google for allegedly tracking Android phone users.
Privacy and competition regulators are jointly investigating claims by Oracle that Google is using Android phones to quietly access users’ locations even if they turn off their location settings switched off or they have removed SIM cards from the phones.
These were first made through media reports in November last year. At time, the source of the information was not revealed. However, according to Ashkan Soltani, a security expert who once worked as the chief technologist of the Federal Trade Commission, the story came from Oracle and had been trying to do so for several months.
Oracle openly came out with the allegations in a presentation to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC,) which launched a probe into Google and Facebook, Inc. Common Stock (NASDAQ:FB)’s on the advertising market. According to Oracle, Google is also using Android devices to get detailed information on people’s surfing and searches.
Oracle says that all the data collected by Google amounts to around one gigabyte every month and users have to pay for it.
In a statement, the ACCC said that they are working to establish how much the users know about the use of their location data.
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In its defense, Google, which has been engaged in court battles with Oracle for many years, accused Oracle for playing behind-the-scenes trafficking in user’s data.
Google in a statement said that it is fully committed to protecting the data and privacy of its users while at the same time offering innovative products that suite their needs. The company indicated that it allows users to know the kind of information that is collected and how it is used. Google accused Oracle of making a presentation that is sleight of hand and lacking of facts. Google said that all the data that is sent to its location servers is anonymized and is not traceable to a particular user.