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Google sued for tracking phone location without user consent

The lawsuit accuses Google of violating privacy by tracking smartphone whereabouts even with the location history settings turned off

  • Published: August 21, 2018 9:07 PM IST
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According to a new report, a lawsuit has been filed against Google in the federal court in US, accusing the company of tracking the whereabouts of smartphone user despite the location history settings being turned off. The news comes only days after Google claimed to have updated its tracking policy, in order to clarify that it continues to track the location of users’ smartphones, even when their location tracking settings turned off.

As reported by the Agence France-Presse, the lawsuit filed by a California-based user accuses Google of violating the privacy policy. The lawsuit reads, “Google expressly represented to users of its operating system and apps that the activation of certain settings will prevent the tracking of users’ geo-locations. This representation was false,”

As per the report, the lawsuit seeks unspecified damages along with class-action status to represent all the iPhone and Android users in the country, who turn off their location history in order to not have location tracked by the company.

While Google hasn’t put out an official response for the matter, the company did change the description of the service on its support page stating that turning off location history in one account, does not affect other location services being used on smartphone through other apps, such as Google Location Services and Find My Device. Besides that, it also stated to save some location data in Maps.

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Alongside all of this, the report claims Electronic Privacy Information Center, a non-profit data center based out of Washington to have sent a letter to the US Federal Trade Commission to see if Google has violated a 20-year-long consent order it agreed upon in 2011. EPIC was quoted in its letter stating, “Google’s subsequent changes to its policy, after it has already obtained location data on Internet users, fails to comply with the 2011 order.”

  • Published Date: August 21, 2018 9:07 PM IST