Last week, an investigation found that Google was still tracking Apple and Android users even when “Location History” is disabled in settings. The company neither gave any clear statement nor it changed its location policy. Now, the first lawsuit had been filed against Google over this issue.
It came under the light that Google’s location-tracking settings were more complicated than they appeared. The toggle in control panel was one stop shop to prevent Google to access your location data. The support page for the feature read, “With Location History off, the places you go are no longer stored.” But in reality that was not true. To fully prevent Google and other third party apps to access your location data, you have to pause the Web & Activity control as well.
Google defended itself by saying, “We provide clear descriptions of these tools, and robust controls so people can turn them on or off.” On Friday, it changed the statement on its support page making it clear that some Google services would continue to follow you. Friday was also the same day when Napoleon Patacsil of San Diego filed a lawsuit in federal court in San Francisco. According to the lawsuit, Google is violating the California Invasion of Privacy Act and the state’s constitutional right to privacy.
As evidence, Paracsil is showing AP’s map of activity a volunteer who moved around Manhattan with his disabled Location History. It also includes screenshots of Google’s original unchanged policy.
If the lawsuit granted class-action status, then every American iPhone and Android users could join the Plaintiff. It does not specify the amount of damage but Google to destroy Paracsil’s Location History. But, California reserves the right to revoke the business license of anyone who violates its privacy act.