Google sued over location tracking in Android | Wifi Walker, J B Chaparal Properties

Google sued over location tracking in Android

If you thought Apple was the only company in trouble for reportedly tracking and saving your location on your mobile phone without your knowledge, you’d be wrong. Google‘s been in hot water as well, and Android also keeps track of your position via cell tower and WiFi triangulation. Predictably, Google has been slapped with a lawsuit over the issue, to the tune of $50 million.

The lawsuit, filed in the US District Court in Detroit, Michigan, seeks to stop Google from selling Android phones with the location tracking feature, or at least change the feature so the data collected cannot be traced to a specific user.

Google has been adamant that the location data that Android saves cannot be traced to individual users. Still, some researchers working on behalf of CNET have determined that, similar to Apple devices, Android phones regularly call home to and dump their location data to the service, along with a device ID. It’s important to note that a device ID isn’t personally identifiable, but it is unique to each phone.

The lawsuit against Google in this case was filed by two women in Michigan, Julie Brown and Kayla Molaski, who are – the same as their Apple-suing counterparts – seeking class action status so other plaintiffs can hop aboard the case. Their lawyer used similar language to that in the Apple claim as well, noting that the location data “puts users at serious risk of privacy invasions, including stalking.”

Google, for its part, is keeping quiet on the lawsuit for the time being. They have explained why the collect the information however. In prior statements, Google has said the location tracking is done in order “to provide a better mobile experience on Android devices,” and also noted that location sharing is an opt-in feature that can be enabled or disabled on Android phones.

Read more at The Detroit News via CNET

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