Google may be facing class-action lawsuit over Location History tracking
Recently, it was found that despite users switching off location history on their Android smartphones, Google was storing some location data of users on their servers. This isn’t the first time they’ve been questioned over similar practices, though it doesn’t appear anything came of it that time. Previously, the company said “You can turn off Location History at any time. With Location History off, the places you go are no longer stored.” This turned out not to be true, as the company still saved information from the likes of Google Maps. Now they may be facing a class-action lawsuit in the US according to a report from ArsTechnica.
A lawsuit was filed in federal court last Friday in San Francisco by a man named Napoleon Patacsil. In the lawsuit, it’s argued that Google is violating the California Invasion of Privacy Act and the state’s constitutional right to privacy. It seeks to attain class-action status, with an “Android Class” and an “iPhone Class.” It will likely take many months before the judge determines whether there is a sufficient class or not.
What’s worse is that this breaks the terms of Google’s settlement with the Electronic Privacy Information Center back in 2011. Google back then agreed that it would not misrepresent anything 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.” Attorneys acting on behalf of the Electronic Privacy Information Center wrote a letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) outlining how exactly Google’s actions are breaking the terms of that settlement.
Google declined to comment to ArsTechnica. Where this class-action lawsuit may go if it continues is unknown, as it is pretty clear that Google broke the terms of the agreement and was extremely misleading. We’ve seen them hit by the EU again and again over many issues in the past as well, meaning it could be hit by yet another record fine in the future as well.
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