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Google Gets Caught Secretly Tracking People’s Locations After Claiming They No Longer Secretly Tracked People’s Locations

Google apps 2018

Source –  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. 

The lawsuit is looking to establish an “iPhone class” and an “Android class” in its desire to obtain class action status. This could potentially affect millions of users — anyone who uses either an iPhone or Android device and had turned off Location History yet were still tracked by Google. 

“Google expressly represented to users of its operating system and apps that the activation of certain settings will prevent the tracking of users’ geolocations. This representation was false. Despite users’ attempts to protect their location privacy, Google collects and stores users’ location data, thereby invading users’ reasonable expectations of privacy, counter to Google’s own representations about how users can configure Google’s products to prevent such egregious privacy violations,” the lawsuit states.

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.

I’m always conflicted reading these stories. Part of me wants to side with the person who’s upset over the technology and the other part of me wants to say “no shit.” Obviously, Google is tracking our location 24/7 regardless of if your location services are shut off. I don’t even think Google knows how to shut off location services. Why would they? It takes away from the functionality of their product. Imagine having to go into settings every time you want to use Google maps? It would be a nightmare. Not only that, so many other apps rely on Google to run their services. We should be thanking them for tracking our location in the background because if they didn’t our phones would essentially be dysfunctional.

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I get the privacy concerns. Everyone has a right to know whether or not they’re being tracked, but at this point, who cares? Our lives are so dependent on technology that it would be more of a pain in the ass for them to change the way they do things. It is good that they’re being kept in check, though, otherwise they never would’ve updated their support page.

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 “This 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.” Before the current edit to the page, Google’s Location History support claimed that “with Location History off, the places you go are no longer stored.”

So if you were concerned that Google or Amazon or any major technology company has too much information on its users, don’t be. The info is already out there we might as well let them use to make out lives easier.