Australia’s competition watchdog announced on Friday that Google, a subsidiary of Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Inc, was ordered by the country’s Federal Court to pay A$60 million ($42.7 million) in fines for deceiving customers over the gathering of their personal location data.
The court found that Google misled some customers regarding personal location data collected from January 2017 to December 2018 via Android mobile devices.
The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) said Google misled users into believing the “location history” setting on their Android phones was the only way location data could be collected, when in fact a feature to monitor web and application activity also allowed local data collection and storage.
The watchdog, which estimates that 1,300,000 Google account holders in Australia may have been affected, initiated legal action against the company and its Australian subsidiary in October 2019.
In 2018, Google took corrective actions, according to the regulator.
Google stated in an emailed statement that the matter had been resolved and that it had made location data simple to manage and comprehend.
The search engine giant has been entangled in legal action in Australia over the last year, as the government has considered and enacted a bill requiring Google and Facebook (NASDAQ:META) to pay media firms for content on their platforms.