Google is being sued for tracking mobile devices even when users have asked them not to.
The Lawsuit alleges that Google is illegally tracking the movements of millions of iPhone and Android phone users even if they think their privacy settings have been set to prevent it.
The plaintiff’s lawyers have said that Google’s “principal goal” is to “surreptitiously monitor” phone users and let third parties do the same.
Napoleon Patacsil from San Diego, filed the lawsuit in a federal court in San Francisco late last week. As part of its initial argument, attorneys for Mr. Patacsil, are hoping to establish both an “iPhone class” and an “Android class” in a bid to obtain class action status.
If the allegation proves to be true, the outcome of the lawsuit could affect millions of users worldwide.
“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. “Google represented that a user ‘can turn off Location History at any time. With Location History off, the places you go are no longer stored.’ and this, the lawsuit claims, simply isn’t true.
At the time of writing, Google had not issued a formal response to the claim. However, the same day the lawsuit was filed, Google did update its Location History support page on its website. The page has been amended to now read:
“This setting does not affect other location services on your device, like Google Location Services and Find My Device. Some location data may be saved as part of your activity on other services, like Search and Maps.”
Earlier this year, Google also relegated their ‘Don’t be evil,’ motto from most of their literature.