back to article Google fined $42.5m over misleading Android location settings in Australia

Google is being ordered to pay A$60 million ($42.5 million) in penalties to Australia's competition and national consumer law regulator regarding the collection and use of location data on Android phones. The financial slap on the wrist relates to a period between January 2017 and December 2018 and follows court action by the …

  1. Mike 137 Silver badge

    "Google is being ordered to pay A$60 million"

    Coffee money once more.

    It's unfortunate that [a] privacy regulators preferentially pursue behemoth infringers but mostly ignore the vast groundswell of general abuse, and [b] the penalties applied to the behemoths are so utterly trivial that they don't drive any change of behaviour.

    The net result is good PR for the regulators while the abusers proceed on their merry way as if nothing had changed. However it jibes with a common position (at least here in the UK) of government departments when they propose legislation - "to demonstrate that we take [whatever] seriously". PR again and always PR - the legislation doesn't have to actually protect anyone.

    1. Martin-73 Silver badge

      Re: "Google is being ordered to pay A$60 million"

      Abso fecking lutely, , if google were told that everything they did in .au would be subject to pre-emptive checks.,... that would make google untenable in australia. That fear is why they do this... Just make it happen, and have australians safer. The rest of the world will follow

  2. elsergiovolador Silver badge

    Cost of doing business

    Australian should really look how much profit Google made before and after the change and then slap 100% tax on that amount + penalty for a good measure.

    1. JimboSmith Silver badge

      Re: Cost of doing business

      Percentage of turnover globally rather than profits. Profits don’t need to amount to much and can be made so by accountants tricks. Turnover, that’s a different matter and much harder to shift to a tax haven.

      1. Martin-73 Silver badge

        Re: Cost of doing business

        100% this

    2. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

      Re: Cost of doing business

      Make that revenue. There are contractual exec bonuses, investments, acquisitions, etc, etc. Profits are for companies that don't have clever accounting.

      1. Martin-73 Silver badge

        Re: Cost of doing business

        lock the accountants up for fraud. i'm done with capitalism

        1. Martin-73 Silver badge

          Re: Cost of doing business

          Ah, found the accountant

          1. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge

            Re: Cost of doing business

            No, you found the people who wish to profit from their hard work, not the people who want to receive the same bread and votka rations that you will receive for doing little to nothing. There is a difference between capitalism and corruption but it's hard to see when companies are only committing corruption. The only way to actually stop the corruption is to stop using corrupt companies.

  3. TeeCee Gold badge

    Google's defence.

    "Haven't you collected too much data here?"

    "Nah mate, we can't even tell what it is yet.".

  4. Dan 55 Silver badge

    I noticed Google have made up a new location service

    This new one is called earthquake alerts, and as you're opted in by default you might want to disable that one as well.

  5. Winkypop Silver badge

    $60 million

    OK guys, can you please search down the back of the Executive Lounge couch again.

    We need some loose change.

  6. Spanners Silver badge

    Unwanted Adverts

    If I get stuff I don't want shoved at me, there is a good chance that I will specifically avoid doing business with it.

    It's not very precise and depends on how memorable it is. An item in the middle of other junk will probably be forgotten, but if I keep getting adverts for the same brand, I will not want to buy from it.

    An example is Toyota. I see repeated adverts for their fake "hybrids".I have blocked them but they will be back. I did note that someone has reported them to the ASA for misrepresenting their petrol-only powered vehicles. Good luck to that reporter. I'm just not putting them on my mental list of possible future cars.

  7. MachDiamond Silver badge

    Easy as pie

    Just come up with an app that people "must have" that requires Location service to be turned on and reporting for it to work. They can then default all Location services to off and the proles will turn them on themselves when the app asks for the permission so it can work. Once on, it stays on until turned off again, 16 pages deep in the system settings under a title that appears to have nothing to do with location.

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