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Google sued for unwanted tracking of phone location

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A lawsuit filed in federal court on Friday by a man of California accuses Google of invading people’s privacy by tracking phone locations even when the ‘track location’ settings are switched off.

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The suit seeks unspecified damages along with class-action status to represent all the I-phone and Android users who have switched off their location history and still their location is being tracked.

“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,” the lawsuit read.

According to Gadgets 360 degree, the suit accuses Google of violating privacy law. Google did not respond for a comment to Gadgets 360 degrees. The suit also cites a news report on the same which was confirmed by university researchers.

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

The support page indicated that Location data may also be tracked for use in other services such as maps or search.
The page had previously mentioned that turning location history off meant that places visited would not be stored by Google.

However, the Electronic Privacy Information Centre, 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.

Epic quoted its letter as 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.”

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