People are learning about the depth, breadth, and power of the data collected by Google for the purpose of targeted advertising – and another tech corporation, Oracle, is among those bringing the issue to light.
Oracle submitted a document to the digital platforms inquiry of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), including a separate paper entitled, “Google's Shadow Profile: A Dossier of Consumers Online and Real World Life.”
Oracle, whose main business revolves around developing and selling database software and tech, has been involved in a protracted legal battle with Google over copyright law and patent claims on Android, Google's mobile operating system.
In the document submitted to the Australian regulator, the company focused on long-standing privacy concerns regarding Google's business model, and described in great detail the manner of data collection from devices running Google's operating system, as well as the way this data is correlated to give advertisers a clear idea about the users' personality and habits.
The explosive submission went as far as to ask the ACCC to check whether Google has been involved in misleading and deceptive behavior, that may also be illegal.
Google – that started off as an internet search company, but is now often accused of making its billions by tracking users' activities and then making this data available to “3rd party” advertisers – has recently been under fire at home as well.
Senator Elizabeth Warren, who is hoping to run in the next US election, included Google on her list of those tech giants that ought to be broken up.
Spinning off parts of Google is also a recommendation made by another company that submitted its document to the ACCC inquiry. News Corp. Australia is urging the regulator to ensure that Google Search is made a separate company, “due to the unparalleled power that it currently exerts over news publishers and advertisers alike.”
Published last week, Google's own submission stated that that the ACCC's interim report contained recommendations “based on the mistaken premise” that it has “market power in search, search advertising, and news media referrals.”
The Australian regulator will publish its final report into the online advertising market on June 3.
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