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Google had a major victory over the ACCC in its legal battle over the use of personal data

The court ruled that Google did not mislead Australian consumers when it changed its privacy policy to expand its scope of use and collection of personal data, beyond an on-screen notice to the effect.

The ACCC claimed that the 2016 notice was misleading because consumers were not adequately informed of these changes, and in July 2020 initiated legal action against Google.

Users were asked to click “I agree” in response to the notification, which allowed Google to combine personal information in consumers’ Google accounts with information about their activity on non-Google sites using the company’s advertising technology to display advertisements. The regulator argued that changes to the privacy policy reduced account holders’ rights without obtaining their explicit consent.

But the court ruled that the notice and changes to the privacy policy were not misleading because Google sought account holders’ consent to implement the changes and only implemented the steps with their informed consent. The Court also noted that Google has not reduced account holders’ rights under the privacy policy.

ACCC Acting Chair Delia Rickard said the regulator “will now consider the judgment carefully.”

But the Federal Court has ruled against Google over its use of personal data, handing the company $60 million in fines for making misleading statements to consumers about the collection and use of their personal location data on Android phones.

That case was also brought by the ACCC, which took Google to court in October 2019 for using location data collected from Android mobile devices between January 2017 and December 2018.

In April last year, the court ruled that Google and its local subsidiary, Google Australia, had misled consumers about using personal location data, in violation of Australian consumer law, in a landmark legal decision.

The consumer watchdog had been scrutinizing the tech company and its parent company, Alphabet, as part of the former government’s investigation into digital platforms.

Shreya has been with australiabusinessblog.com for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider australiabusinessblog.com, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

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