Earlier this week the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission started legal proceedings against Google regarding a 2016 change to how Google handles Australian users’ data. You can check out our original coverage above, today a Google spokesperson reached out to us with this comment.
“In June 2016, we updated our ads system and associated user controls to match the way people use Google products: across many different devices.
The changes we made were optional and we asked users to consent via prominent and easy-to-understand notifications. If a user did not consent, their experience of our products and services remained unchanged.
We have cooperated with the ACCC’s investigation into this matter. We strongly disagree with their allegations and intend to defend our position.”
It’s important to remember, this isn’t about something that is happening right now, or something that has just happened. The change to Google’s advertising system was made in June 2016, so don’t let the general media FUD about this get too scary or overwhelming.
Now, as we said earlier this week, the ACCC does exist to protect Australian Consumers, and Google will get its day in court to present its side of the argument. Following this we will get a ruling, then likely an appeal etc.
So if you are worried about what data is being collected by Google to build your profile then we seriously encourage you to log into your My Account control panel for Google. From here Google provides tools to manage your settings and data retention, and while you’re there complete a security checkup, because you just should.
We will continue to follow this case, but don’t expect there to be swift or meaningful outcomes anytime soon.