Google's new Wear OS Phone app brings Quick Replies to smartwatches

The Australian investigation is the latest privacy concern around Google's operations and comes after Facebook suspended 200 apps as the investigation into its data misuse following the Cambridge Analytica scandal begins.

The voice-controlled Google Assistant, Google Play Store, Google Maps and other Google services will be added to Volvo's next-generation Sensus infotainment system which itself is based on Google's smartphone and tablet technology.

While the allegations are not new and they first appeared in November of a year ago, the whistleblower remained unknown then.

Oracle is also reported to have suggested to the ACCC that Google could also be accessing location data from the handsets. Then, by using this data with your coordinates, the search giant can know the shops you visited.

One example of this, the letter notes, is Google's ability to share blog posts about "holiday shopping habits" through the data it collects from users' Location History.

Responding to the claims, Google has said that it has required permission from the Android users about collecting their data. Oracle Australia, a branch of Oracle Corporation, recently met with members of the ACCC and claimed that Google harvests an average of a gigabyte of data a month from individual Android users. Furthermore, the software company has revealed that Android devices include a barometer which allow Google to use air pressure to determine a person's exact location inside a multistory building.

As per David Vaile, the chairman of the Australian Privacy Foundation, Google had earlier undertaken this task as a part of its Street View surveying. According to Vaile, both Google and Facebook are in the commercial surveillance business, and selling services for advertising is the foundation of their business model.

An updated version of the Wear OS Phone app, which is different from the Wear OS app (we know, confusing), is now live on the Google Play Store and is compatible with Wear smartwatches running Android 8.0 Oreo or later. Further, referring to My Account in the settings, it says that users have full control over their data and how it can be used.

"Google has an intimate understanding of personal lives as they watch their user's seek the support of reproductive health services, engage in civic activities, or attend places of religious worship", Markey and Blumenthal write. Sure that sounds amusing, but really, is the tech giant keeping tabs on everything we search and everywhere we go?

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