A federal lawsuit claims that Google has generated millions in revenue by secretly storing location data of mobile phone users who believe they’ve opted out of such tracking.
That lawsuit was filed October 19 in the Northern District of California by Franklin D. Azar & Associates and seeks class action status on behalf of iPhone and Android users nationwide whose location information was stored by Google despite their efforts to disable the service.
HOW DOES GOOGLE SECRETLY STORE YOUR LOCATIONS?
A mobile phone’s location is typically tracked by Google whenever the owner uses Google Maps or similar applications. Google’s support page claims that users can turn off the tracking at any time for all devices associated with their Google account. But a recent Associated Press investigation found that Google continued to automatically store time-stamped location data even when users explicitly switched off the “Location History” feature. Users who wished to prevent Google from saving their location data had to disable another setting in their account, a process Google failed to disclose.
A Vanderbilt University research study found that a stationary Android phone communicated location information to Google 340 times during a 24-hour period. Such data is a key component of the personal information Google collects on users to more effectively target its advertising and marketing efforts. In 2017 Google’s advertising revenue amounted to nearly $94.5 billion.
Google responded to the AP’s reporting by changing its disclosures about location tracking, but the complaint states that “Google’s attempt to paper over its misrepresentations and omissions after its deceptive practice of secretly amassing a considerable amount of profitable data…does not absolve it of liability.” The suit alleges that Google’s practice of secretly collecting location data from phone users violates privacy and consumer protection laws.
THE GOOGLE PLUS DATA BREACH
This is a separate class action related to another data breach claim against Google, filed last week by Franklin D. Azar & Associates on behalf of users of the Google+ social network, which exposed the personal data of up to 500,000 users to outside entities because of a software glitch. That complaint seeks class action status on behalf of named plaintiffs in Colorado and hundreds of thousands of other Google+ users whose personal profile information — including their addresses, email accounts, birthdates, and photos — may have been compromised in the data breach.
THE CLASS ACTION ATTORNEYS AT FDAZAR
FDAzar is one of the largest plaintiff law firms in Colorado, known for championing the rights of individuals who have suffered damages at the hands of large corporations. Over the past 30 years, our attorneys have secured more than $1.5 billion in compensation for our clients, including more than $750 million from Walmart in a wage and hour dispute that involved hundreds of thousands of class action participants and litigation in 26 states.
Our class action department is staffed with experienced and knowledgeable attorneys who focus on litigating large, complex cases. We are currently investigating cases involving abusive wage practices, employees whose 401(k) plans have been subject to excessive fees and mismanagement, improper fees charged by investment companies, data security issues affecting Facebook users, and more.
If you have suffered damages as a result of unfair business practices, data breaches, or corporate misconduct, the class action attorneys at FDAzar may be able to help. Speak with a class action attorney today by contacting us here. The consultation is free.