Australian market authority ACCC plans to fine Google “millions” of Australian dollars, Reuters reports.
The company is alleged to have misled consumers to permit extensive data collection.
Until 2016, Google used to personalize ads using only data about user activity on the search company’s own platforms, such as YouTube and Google Maps.
In June of that year, the company introduced “new features” that allow Google to track users on other websites. For example, if a user reads about specific symptoms on a medical site and Google ads are displayed on that page, the company may link that to the specific user.
According to the watchdog, users were not adequately informed when asked to do so. In a pop-up, the company promised “more control over the data Google collects and how it is used”.
In response to Reuters, Google states that it was an optional choice and that the user experience would not change if no permission were given.