Google Sued For Tracking Peoples Location Even When Turned Off
Search engine giant Google sued for tracking peoples location even when turned off the location setting on their phone. Google was found guilty of this after a bombshell AP investigation found that Google was still tracking iPhone and Android device users, even if they turned off the “Location History” setting.
Remember that last month Google was fined with a fee of $5.04 billion by EU for abusing its dominance in the Android ecosystem, but to our surprise this week the tech giant has been charged to court for viewing of peoples location even while their location is turned off.
A lot of people might be surprised with this acquisition but do you know that some Google app and stores get your location even without your data on, those apps and stores get your location as soon as you click on them but Google listed in its policies that it may use your location in order to improve your experience with its search engine environment.
“We provide clear descriptions of these tools, and robust controls so people can turn them on or off, and delete their histories at any time,” according to Google.
The stored location data is also used to target ads, and buyers have the ability to narrow down the audience by targeting a specific location.
Moreover, the tech giant confirmed that it does track your location even with location turned off after facing criticism from left and right.
Prior to the investigation and lawsuit filed against the tech giant it has now updated the Location History support page on its website. The support page that is live now reads “This setting does not affect other location services on your device, like Google Location Services and Finds My Device.Some location data may be saved as part of your activity on other services, like Search and Maps.”
But before the current modification to the page, Google’s Location History support page claimed that “with Location History off, the places you go are no longer stored.”
The page backs this irresponsible behavior of Google by saying that your location history helps you get better results and recommendations on Google products.
In a statement to the AP, Google justified the update by saying, ” We have been updating the explanatory language about Location History to make it more consistent and clear across our platforms and help centers.”
This revelation raises many questions about Google’s policies, and this is not the first time when Google has found itself surrounded by the allegations of various sorts.
Although the AP Investigation was due to the report of privacy violation practice by Google, a man name Napoleon Patacsil from San Diego filed a lawsuit against the tech giant in a federal court in San Francisco. His attorneys argued that “Google is violating the California Invasion of Privacy Act and the state’s constitutional right to privacy.”
Napoleon in the case is not only seeking damages, but also a court order requiring Google to destroy its location tracking data on him and the class members of the lawsuit.
“Google expressly represented to users of its operating system and Apps that the activation of certain settings will prevent the tracking of users’ geolocations. This representation was false. Despite users’ attempts to protect their location privacy, Google collects and stores users’ location data, thereby invading users’ reasonable expectations of privacy, counter to Google’s own representations about how users can configure Google’s products to prevent such egregious privacy violations,” the lawsuit states.
Also Read: How A Man Uses Google Assistant To Fire A Gun
The lawsuit is looking to establish an “iPhone class” and an “Android class” in its desire to obtain class action status. This could potentially affect millions of users — anyone who uses either an iPhone or Android device and had turned off Location History yet were still tracked by Google.
However, it is going to take months before the judge could declare the lawsuit eligible for class-action.
Meanwhile, lawyers from the Electronic Privacy Information Center have written a 3-page letter to the FTC stating that Google’s practices are clearly violating the 2011 consent order.
According to the order, Google consented not to misrepresent facts related to “(1) the purposes for which it collects and uses covered information, and (2) the extent to which consumers may exercise control over the collection, use, or disclosure of covered information.”
After, excessive research from users it was noted that Google modified his policy on Friday due to the allegation.
Do you think the tech giant should stop this practice or make users understand better its location history policy?
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