Google is threatening a legal allegation for allegedly permanent location of millions of users of iPhones and Android smartphones. In a lawsuit, the daughter of the alphabet is accused of being misleading and violating privacy. Despite deactivating the "location history" option, it is stored in the document where users reside. The main goal of Google is to secretly monitor mobile users & # 39; & # 39; and to allow third parties. The goal is to pay compensation in an undisclosed amount, as well as a class action lawsuit.
Google did not want to comment on it at first. The company, which represents the claimant from San Diego, was also initially unable to obtain an opinion. The trial was filed Friday night by a man in California at the federal court in San Francisco.
According to a recent AP news report, Google apps such as Google Maps collect user location data, although the corresponding, clearly stated option is turned off. Even if the Location History feature is disabled, Google evaluates the user's location and stores it when certain other apps or services open.
Google knows where they live and work
As it is shown, you can keep track on the Google page in the & # 39; My Activities & # 39; There you can see for each day what Google searched for, which places were called on Google Maps or which videos were viewed on YouTube. A click on "Details" not only reveals the exact time, but also the location from which the Google search was called. Often there is even "From your home" or "From your work". The users do not even have to enter the address of the home or work address. Google automatically learns from the habits and frequent whereabouts, where you apparently spend the night and then go back every morning.
Many users may not be aware that their whereabouts are being stored regularly. Especially if they are concerned about their own data and disable the "location history". "To allow users to disable something called & # 39; Location History & # 39 ;, you must disable all the places where you maintain the location & # 39 ;, criticized computer scientist Jonathan Mayer of Princeton University, who is responsible for the practice If you do not want Google to store location data, you must also disable Web and app activity and see which apps have access to location data.
The Group had modified its information on the Internet under the "Help" item after publishing the report, stating that disabling the site history had no effect on other location services on that device. Initially only in the English version.
Location even without a SIM card
Already in the previous year there were problems with the location data of the subject. The American magazine Quartz has reported that smartphones with Google's Android system can even register where they are, even if each app was not allowed to use the location data. It transmits the data of the radio cell in which a user is located. Although not as accurate as the GPS data, but also because of the distance to the next transmission masts, the location can be determined at about 500 meters. According to Quartz, the data was collected even if the user did not have a SIM card in the device and was sent as soon as a user dialed into a Wi-Fi network.
Google had admitted to have started the cell research in January 2017. This should "further improve the speed of message traffic". However, the location data may not have been saved, the company emphasized. After the criticism, Google had announced that it would close the practice by the end of November. German privacy defenders had also criticized and announced an audit of the events.