It’s no secret that Google and Dish have had some of the worst customer service ever.
But now, a new study claims the two companies are using a “secret technique” to spy on each other.
It is the first time Google has ever used this method to target a competitor, the researchers said in a blog post published on Tuesday.
“This new research has the potential to reveal much more about how Dish and Google use customer service to spy each other, and it raises serious concerns about their ability to share information about customer issues, including privacy,” the researchers wrote.
“If Dish and/or Google continue to use this method, the impact on privacy is enormous.”
Google has always insisted its own data-collection practices were not intended to be used against its competitors, but the company said this new research suggests it has also been used against Google.
It’s unclear how much the new method is being used against Dish, which is the world’s biggest US wireless carrier.
It’s also unclear how many times Google is using it.
Google said it did not respond to a request for comment.
It is unclear how widespread the technique is, but Dish said in May it was “investigating the security of Google’s Google customer service.”
Dish has been under pressure from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for more than a year over its data collection practices, and the company has been hit with a class-action lawsuit alleging it is selling information to advertisers.
Dish said in October it had hired a former FBI agent to investigate whether the company was violating the FTC’s antitrust laws.