Google sued for falsely presenting the ‘Location History’ feature
- Previously, Google’s help page stated that it no longer stored users’ location when the Location History feature is turned off.
- Later, Google edited the description of the practice on its website and clarified that ‘some location data may be saved’.
Google faces a potential class-action lawsuit in the wake of revelations that it stores users’ location data even when the ‘Location History’ feature is disabled.
A man named Napoleon Patacsil filed a lawsuit against the tech giant in a San Francisco federal court after the Associated Press exposed the unknown practice last week. Previously, Google’s help page stated that it no longer stored users’ location when the Location History feature is turned off.
However, the Associated Press found that Google’s statement was false and noted that the firm still stores users’ location data, even when the Location History feature is turned off.
Following the report, Google quickly edited its description of the practice on its website and clarified that “Some location data may be saved as part of your activity on other services, like Search and Maps.”
The lawsuit accuses Google of falsely presenting the Location History feature that is used by millions of iPhone and Android users.
"Google expressly represented to users of its operating system and apps that the activation of certain settings will prevent the tracking of users' geolocations. The representation was false," the lawsuit claims. “Google affirmatively—and misleadingly—represented to both Android and Apple device users that turning off “Location History” would result in Google ceasing to track, record, and use an individual’s location information.”
The suit further alleged that Google’s conduct in this case violates California’s Invasion of Privacy Act and the state’s constitutional right to privacy.
However, Google on its part has clarified that they are working towards resolving the issue.
"We have been updating the explanatory language about Location History to make it more consistent and clear across our platforms and help centers," said Google, Associated Press reported.