It is no secret that Google handles a lot of information from users. Through its broad ecosystem of services and applications, the Mountain View company collects a wealth of data that it then uses for its own benefit. In fact, many people see ads so precise that many times they wonder if it is possible for companies to spy on them through the camera or the microphone of their smartphone.
A document reveals the provenance of this detailed information. The document accuses the American giant of developing profiles with intimate details of users’ lifestyle, such as the addresses of their home and work or notes related to their personal interests.
“Google is using massive amounts of consumer data for microdirected advertising, all without the knowledge or consent of users” the document says.
Location + WiFi
The Mountain View company obtains accurate data on the location of consumers through the Wi-Fi networks to which they connect, as well as the hours and days when they do so. “If a user connects to the same WiFi hotspot at 9 o’clock in the morning from Monday to Friday, it is likely to be their place of work,” the report states. “Similarly, if a consumer connects to the same Wi-Fi base every day at 7 pm and remains connected throughout the night, it’s probably home.”
This location data, combined with the details of Internet browsing, search history and other information handled by the technology giant, allows you to make a detailed profile of the lifestyle of users, according to Oracle. A record that the company then uses to sell extremely precise microdirected ads.
Collecting info from users
Of course, we can not forget that relations between Oracle and Google are complicated since 2010, when Oracle sued Google for infringing the copyright of Java on Android. In addition, last year Oracle already presented a document before the ACCC in which it accused Google of obtaining about 1 GB of data per month from mobile phones without the knowledge of users, which the Mountain View denied.
Not the only one claiming
However, it must also be borne in mind that this document is not the only one that has been submitted to the ACCC. Another 26 entities, including News Corp. Australia, also recommend the Australian government to take action against Google.