A new twist in last month's reports which showed Google to be drawing location data from Android users unsolicited now seems to suggest that long-time Google rival Oracle had a hand in those revelations. Following those reports, Google ultimately admitted that the location data had, indeed, been collected. The company claimed that the data was intended for use in a project to provide users with location-based services but that the project had not moved forward and that all location data had been deleted upon arrival at Google. If Google was true to its word, that collection was slated to be stopped by the end of November and should no longer be going on. However, new reports now appear to indicate that the reveal was actually part of a wider, ongoing battle between Google and Oracle, with Oracle supplying some of the information from those prior reports.
It may be too early to jump to any conclusions about the news, with consideration for the fact that the two companies have been embroiled in conflict since way back in 2010. Moreover, although the company did not respond directly with regard to whether or not it played any part in the news that Google had been collecting data without the knowledge of users, Oracle has already denied allegations that it is acting against Google specifically or maliciously. Oracle executive Ken Glueck reportedly commented, saying that Google does plenty of damage to itself and that Oracle's positions are based on the company's interests, the merits of the position, and the interests of customers. However, sources have allegedly also claimed that Oracle has recently gone so far as to try and convince news sources to print stories about what it calls privacy problems with the operating system at the heart of the conflict – namely Android. The companies have also ended up on opposing sides on legislative issues, where the outcome would have no effect on Oracle's business, as well as spending a substantial amount of money lobbying against Google in the political arena. That's in addition to Oracle notably pressing for rulings and financial penalties against Google in both the U.S. and abroad.
Whether Oracle played a role in revealing Google's collection of location data for Android users who had location data services turned off is relatively meaningless at this point since Google admitted to and has reportedly fixed the problem. Meanwhile, the two companies are bound to continue taking jabs at each other until some resolution is reached in the ongoing legal battle between them over whether or not Google stole Oracle's intellectual property in order to create Android. Google has, as of this writing, been successful in defending against that claim and has opted not to comment on Oracle's alleged involvement in the location data collection stories.