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Alphabet Inc.’s Google allegedly tracked the location of millions of mobile phone users without their consent, according to a complaint filed by a proposed class.
Google collected location data for some of its applications on iPhone and Android devices even when users turned off location history features, the complaint stated.
Google’s privacy page says that users can turn off their location history at any time, and their information will cease to be stored. But even with location history paused, some Google apps store time-stamped location data, which violated user privacy and constituted a deceptive trade practice, according to the complaint.
Google didn’t immediately respond to Bloomberg Law’s email request for comment, nor did representatives for plaintiffs.
Napoleon Patacsil, who seeks to represent a proposed class, alleged in a federal lawsuit that since 2016 he used an iPhone and other Google applications that would have had the location tracking feature.
In his Aug. 17 complaint, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, Patacsil said that he “expressly attempted to limit Google’s tracking of his location” through privacy settings, including hitting the off-mode. Patacsil had an Android device prior to 2016, and tried to limit location tracking to no avail, he said.
Patacsil alleged that Google continued to collect the location history data in violation of the California Invasion of Privacy Act, California’s constitutional right to privacy, and common law privacy claims. He is seeking an order to prevent Google from collecting and storing location information. He also seeks deletion of what he said is his previous collected data and monetary damages.
The case is Patacsil v. Google, Inc., N.D. Cal., No. 18-cv-05062, complaint filed 8/17/18.