Google has been hit with a lawsuit over its location tracking practices, with one man filing for litigation with a San Diego, California-based state court on Friday. The plaintiff is seeking class-action status for his lawsuit, claiming Alphabet's subsidiary violated the California Invasion of Privacy Act, as well as the right to privacy guaranteed by the state's constitution. On the same day, Google partially clarified its location tracking policies following allegations of "dishonest" practices, admitting that some of its mobile solutions such as Find My Device and Google Location Services may still collect location data even when the "Location History" option is turned off in the system Settings app on Android devices.
Search and Maps may also behave in a similar way in order to deliver some basic functionalities, Google said last week. The newly filed lawsuit encompasses both the Android and iOS aspect of the practice, arguing the Mountain View, California-based tech giant may have violated the privacy of millions of Americans in California. Simultaneously with Friday litigation, the Electronic Privacy Information Center complained to the Federal Trade Commission about the practice, claiming that it directly violates Google's 2011 settlement with the federal regulator. The Californian court likely won't rule on whether the case has class-action merits until late fall.
Until last Monday, August 13, Google's support pages stated that a disabled Location History option ensures no user location data is ever collected or stored on the company's servers, which proved to be categorically incorrect. The issue of digital privacy gained more prominence in the Western world over the course of this year, primarily due to the revelation of Facebook's Cambridge Analytica scandal. The Trump administration is currently said to be working on a framework of user privacy laws that it hopes will be codified by Congress in the near future, though their fate is likely to depend on the outcome of this year's mid-term elections taking place in early November.