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January 25, 2017updated 17 Jun 2022 6:53am

Oracle lodges EU complaint over Google’s privacy policy change

Google faces further scrutiny over its advertising practices.

By Joe Clark

Oracle has registered several complaints with EU regulators that Google’s ad-targeting practices give them an unfair advantage.

The software company has claimed that because Google is able to compile such a large amount of data from its myriad of sources and users, it allows the company to use that data to target consumers so precisely it creates an unfair competitive advantage. Google has announced plans that the service is soon to be expanded to include YouTube as well.

The main point of contention for Oracle arises from the privacy update issued by Google in June of last year which allows users to opt-in, or out, of “Ads Personalization” which is designed to create a user profile in order to curate more relevant and more effective ads.

Similar complaints were made to the FTC in the US by privacy adovacte group Privacy Rights Clearinghouse and Consumer Watchdog, who said: “On June 28, 2016, Google quietly changed its privacy policy to permit the combination of this data, and forced the change on users in a highly deceptive manner, without meaningful notice and consent.”

“Google induced users to accept the change to its privacy policy by cloaking it in an offer to enable “new features” that purport to provide “more control” over users’ personal information. Unsuspecting users accepted Google’s offer in droves.”

According to an official of the European Union they are taking the complaint regarding policy change “seriously”.

Google responded to the complaint and said: “Oracle claims to be the world’s largest audience data marketplace, so it knows how competitive digital advertising is. Its complaints, and those of its proxies, are frivolous.”

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The two tech giants are also involved in an ongoing case in the US in which Oracle says Google used a copyrighted Java API in it’s Androids devices. The case was recently thrown out on “fair use” grounds though Oracle has state its intention to appeal the decision.

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