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Lawsuit filed over Google’s Location History debacle

The aftermath of last week’s discovery of the potentially misleading claims that Google makes about how and when location information is sent back has continued billowing out. Today it’s been learned that a lawsuit has been filed against Google in response.

The lawsuit, Reuters reports, was filed with the San Francisco District Court on Friday by Napoleon Patacsil, and seeks class-action status to include other smartphone users who have disabled Location History with the expectation of it being an all-encompassing privacy setting.

In the complaint, Patacsil claims that Google’s lapse of privacy and consent was intentional:

Moreover, Google engaged in true tracking of location history deceptively and in direct contradiction of the express instructions of Plaintiff and the members of the Class. […] [Google]’s principal goal was to surreptitiously monitor Plaintiff and Class members and to allow third-parties to do the same.

The full filing can be found here (via Ars Technica).

Since the original discovery, Google has corrected its descriptions and labeling of the relevant settings, both to better inform consumers and to protect itself from other potential lawsuits like this one.

9to5Google’s Take

While the issue itself, letting the consumer be in full control of who is privy to their past and present location, is one that deserves all the attention it can get, I’m personally concerned that this lawsuit may simply be a frivolous money grab.

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Avatar for Kyle Bradshaw Kyle Bradshaw

Kyle is an author and researcher for 9to5Google, with special interests in Made by Google products, Fuchsia, and Stadia.

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