GOOGLE IS BEING SUED over ongoing claims that it tracks your location in Android and iOS, even if the 'Location History' option is turned off.
Napoleon Patacsil, a Google user, has decided to take the matter through the courts. The ruling could affect every user of Google's services.
In court papers, Mr Patacsil (also the name of a skincare cream for greasy t-zones) claims: "Google expressly represented to users of its operating system and apps that the activation of certain settings will prevent the tracking of users' geolocation. That 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 whole shebang kicked off last week when a report from the Associated Press (AP) uncovered evidence of data collection by Google using another telemetry. When asked to explain itself, it said that it was possible to turn off location tracking more fully, using a completely erroneously labelled as 'Web and App Activity'.
App permissions can also be turned off at a granular app level, but its the lack of transparency and clarity that is causing concern.
Mr Patacsil is looking to make any decision awarded in his favour stand for any Android or iOS users affected. As a Californian, he is protected under the Californian Invasion of Privacy Act. It will be up to the judge to decide if this is a test case or applies solely to him.
Cnet points out that Google has already had a Supreme Court ruling on the issue, stating that governments must have a search warrant to collect past notification data and that this will affect that, with lawyers pointing out the vast amount of unrelated data that can be extrapolated from your location history.
Bringing that back to Google, the sensitivity of the data that can be deduced is such that if the government can't have it, then, quoth the argument, surely Google shouldn't have it either. μ