Last week, a bombshell AP investigation found that Google was still tracking iPhone and Android device users, even if they turned off the “Location History” setting. Now, the first lawsuit has been filed against the search engine giant over this issue, according to documents posted by Ars Technica.Â
On Friday, attorneys representing the plaintiff, Napoleon Patacsil from San Diego, filed the lawsuit in federal court in San Francisco. The lawsuit is looking to establish an âiPhone classâ and an âAndroid classâ in its desire to obtain class action status. This could potentially affect millions of users âÂ anyone who uses either an iPhone or Android device and had turned off Location History yet were still tracked by Google.Â
âGoogle expressly represented to users of its operating system and apps that the activation of certain settings will prevent the tracking of usersâ geolocations. This representation was false. Despite usersâ attempts to protect their location privacy, Google collects and stores usersâ location data, thereby invading usersâ reasonable expectations of privacy, counter to Googleâs own representations about how users can configure Googleâs products to prevent such egregious privacy violations,â the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit argues that that Google had violated federal law outlined by the Federal Trade Commission as a âdeceptive trade practiceâ by tracking each usersâ location after they attempted to block the feature by turning Location History off. The lawsuit also claims that Google violated the California Invasion of Privacy Act and Californiaâs constitutional right to privacy by tracking the location of users that disabled Location History on their device.
The plaintiff in the case is not only seeking damages, but also a court order requiring Google to destroy its location tracking data on him and the class members of the lawsuit.
Days after the AP published its Location History investigation, and on the same day this lawsuit was filed, Google updated the Location History support page on its website. The support page that is live now reads âThis setting does not affect other location services on your device, like Google Location Services and Find My Device. Some location data may be saved as part of your activity on other services, like Search and Maps.â
Before the current edit to the page, Googleâs Location History support claimed that âwith Location History off, the places you go are no longer stored.â