has been accused in a lawsuit of illegally tracking the movements of
millions of iPhone and Android phone users even when they use a privacy
setting to prevent it.
to a complaint filed late Friday, Google falsely assures people they
won’t be tracked if they turn the “Location History” feature on their
phones to “off,” and instead violates their privacy by monitoring and
storing their movements.
represented that a user ‘can turn off Location History at any time. With
Location History off, the places you go are no longer stored.’ This
simply was not true,” the complaint filed in San Francisco federal court
plaintiff, Napoleon Patacsil of San Diego, is seeking class-action
status on behalf of U.S. users of Android phones and Apple iPhones who
turned the tracking feature off.
is seeking unspecified damages for Google’s alleged intentional
violations of California privacy laws, and intrusion into people’s
alleged tracking by the unit of Mountain View, California-based Alphabet
Inc was described in an Aug. 13 Associated Press article, which said it
was confirmed by computer science researchers at Princeton University.
did not immediately respond on Monday to requests for comment. Michael
Sobol, a partner at Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein representing
Patacsil, did not immediately respond to similar requests.
claimed that Google illegally tracked him on his Android phone and later
on his iPhone, where he had downloaded some Google apps.
said Google’s “principal goal” was to “surreptitiously monitor” phone
users and let third parties do the same.
help section of Google’s website now says that turning Location History
off “does not affect other location services” in phones, and that some
location data may be saved through other services, such as Search and
case is Patacsil v Google Inc, U.S. District Court, Northern District of
California, No. 18-05062.