Coincidentally, a few days after the senators penned their letter, it emerged that Oracle had briefed Australia's competition regulator about Google's data-acquisition activities, complete with claims that Android devices send improbably large quantities of data home to Google each month.
Google also mapped IP addresses and Wi-Fi connection spots where mobile phones connected or attempted to connect, the report says. The updated Android app replaces both Play Newsstand and Google News and Weather, combining both services under one big umbrella. Not only will you have access to content in Google News, you'll also have access to the paid content automatically in Google Search and on publisher's own websites.
Google told the news outlet in November that the location information was never stored or used; it was rather used to "further improve the speed and performance of message delivery". The new version of the news app with AI support was earlier teased at the recently concluded Google I/O 2018 event.
However, beaming that much data back to Google costs gigabytes of mobile data that customers have unknowingly have been unknowingly paying for thinking that it reflects their data usage.
While the allegations are not new and they first appeared in November of a year ago, the whistleblower remained unknown then. The ACCC was already investigating Google and Facebook's impact on the advertising market. According to The Chronicle, these accusations were brought forward by Oracle, a computer technology corporation that has been involved in a long and bitter legal battle with Google over intellectual property that Oracle claimed Google stole. "The initial approach is to ignore any potential breaches of privacy and, as we have now seen, when people notice, their approach is to ask for forgiveness".
Though the search giant says that it tracks user data only after a user has consented, all Android users know how such consent is obtained.
According to The Register, the ACCC said it "met with Oracle and is considering information it has provided about Google services".
At a time of increased scrutiny of companies that collect masses of user data, two United States senators are calling on federal regulators to investigate a Google product called Location History.