Australia’s Competition and Consumer Commission will investigate reports that Google harvests data from Android phones, including detailed location information, the Guardian reported.
This comes after the commission started an inquiry into the impact Google and Facebook have on the advertising market in Australia.
Oracle said in a presentation to the inquiry that Google could be harvesting a gigabyte of data from Android devices each month. Subscribers pay their mobile service providers for this data, according to the report.
It said Android devices send detailed information on searches and what is being viewed, and that they can also send precise locations – even if no SIM or apps are installed and location services are turned off.
Google has mapped IP addresses, Wi-Fi connection points, and mobile towers which allow it to know where a device is attempting to connect from, without using the phone’s location service, said Oracle.
The report stated that Google initially did this as part of its Street View surveying, but now keeps its database up to date using the data it collects from Android devices.