Google taken to court over sneakily tracking user location

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Although pausing “Location History” tracking on your Google account may lead you to believe that you’re stopping Google from collecting time-stamped location data for your devices, this is not actually the case. This much was revealed in a recent Associated Press report that shed light on Google’s confusing and questionable location tracking practices.

As was expected, not even a week following the revelation, Google was taken to court by a disgruntled user, who now wants to represent everyone in the US who may be affected by Google’s practices.

One Napoleon Patacsil has filed a lawsuit against the Internet search giant, claiming the company has violated numerous privacy laws, including the California Invasion of Privacy Act and the right to privacy enshrined in the California constitution. The lawsuit seeks to represent all affected Google users in the US, both on Android and iOS.

“Google expressly represented to users of its operating system and apps that the activation of certain settings will prevent the tracking of users’ geolocation,” the legal complaint reads. “That representation was false.”

Mr Patacsil’s request to represent all affected users in the US is pending judicial approval.

This is not the first time Google is in hot water over tracking users’ location in questionable ways. Last November, a number of reports emerged, suggesting that Android phones can still track their users’ location, even with location services turned off and the SIM card taken out. This was done by gathering information from cell towers. Google said that this feature would be turned off in December of 2017.

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