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New Challenges Dawn Google Advertising as Oracle Files a Complaint to EU

Google has always faced criticism on how it obtains and handles user data. This time around, adding to the already prevalent and complicated legal charges that the company faces in Europe, software giant and rival Oracle Corp is said to have spoken to the European antitrust regulators late last year, urging them to examine the recent policy changes made by Google in order to build more robust profiles of its users.

The real issue underlying the complaint is that Google combines detailed user data, which include users’ preferences, location, activities, etc. from across all its properties, including YouTube. Google had introduced “My Activity” and “Ads Personalization” last June, giving users a very clear, complete and connected picture of its search and browsing histories, and better, relevant ads respectively. Oracle voiced its opinion that the policy change that happened recently gives Google, exclusive, unprecedented insight into users’ lives. It also argued that Google’s plan to combine browsing and search data wasn’t all that clear to users. Meanwhile, analysts at Google claim that there are opt-in and opt-out options that are given to the users before data is retrieved from them.

This is not the first time Google is trying to get shot down by Oracle. Oracle is already involved in an ongoing US lawsuit against Google, claiming a copyright on Java APIs that Google has used in Android.

In the words of a report by Wall Street Journal –

“Software giant Oracle Corp. said it briefed European antitrust regulators late last year on the change, arguing it will make it harder for other companies to compete by enabling Google to even more accurately target ads to users.”

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