Google sued for unwanted tracking of phone locations

August 21, 2018
This file photo taken on April 29, 2018 shows the Google logo displayed on a screen and reflected on a tablet in Paris. A US lawsuit accuses Google of invading people's privacy by tracking smartphones users despite "location history" settings being turned off

A lawsuit filed in federal court here accuses Google of invading people's privacy by tracking the whereabouts of smartphones users despite "location history" settings being turned off.

The suit filed Friday by a California man seeks unspecified damages along with class-action status to represent all US iPhone or Android smartphone users who turned off history in order not to have their movements logged by Google.

"Google expressly represented to users of its operating system and apps that the activation of certain settings will prevent the tracking of users' geolocations," the lawsuit read.

"This representation was false."

The suit accuses Google of violating privacy law, and cites a news report last week confirmed by university researchers.

Google did not respond to a request for comment.

After the report, Alphabet-owned Google modified its support page to read that turning off location history off "does not affect other location services on your device, like Google Location Services and Find My Device."

Location data may also be tracked for use in other services such as maps or search, the support page indicated.

The page had previously indicated that turning location history off meant places visited were not stored by Google.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center, a non-profit public interest group, said it has sent a letter to the US Federal Trade Commission to look into whether Google has violated a 2011 consent order.

"Google's subsequent changes to its policy, after it has already obtained on Internet users, fails to comply with the 2011 order," Epic quoted its letter as stating.

Explore further: Privacy group tells FTC Google tracking violated 2011 order

Related Stories

Google clarifies location-tracking policy

August 16, 2018

Google has revised a help page that erroneously described how its "Location History" setting works, clarifying for users that it still tracks their location even if they turn the setting off.

Recommended for you

Pushing lithium ion batteries to the next performance level

December 13, 2018

Conventional lithium ion batteries, such as those widely used in smartphones and notebooks, have reached performance limits. Materials chemist Freddy Kleitz from the Faculty of Chemistry of the University of Vienna and international ...

Uber filed paperwork for IPO: report

December 8, 2018

Ride-share company Uber quietly filed paperwork this week for its initial public offering, the Wall Street Journal reported late Friday.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.