Google previously claimed that “Whenever you turn off Location History, the places you go are no longer stored.” However, as it turns out, this was a false claim, and Google saves location data from Google Map.
As it has been found, even if the users switch off their location history on their Android phones, Google still stores the users’ location data on their servers. So, now they may have to face a class action lawsuit. The lawsuit was filed against Google in Federal Court of San Francisco following an AP article. The article disclosed the fact that Google location capture still occurs even if Location History is turned off.
A California resident, named Napoleon Patacsil, filed the lawsuit arguing that Google violating the California Invasion of Privacy Act and the state’s constitutional right to privacy. The lawsuit tends to attain class-action status, with an “Android Class” and an “iPhone Class.” It is likely to take several months before the judge decides whether it is to be qualified as a class or not. Should the lawsuit achieve class-action status, it may make the case very expensive for Google.
Generally, it is going to be a very complicated lawsuit. First, Google’s liability is not certain, nor are damages. In this aspect, it will be challenging for plaintiffs to prove they were harmed by Google Search or Maps’ use of location. Second, Google may argue that location services make phones perform better. Whose arguments will appear more weighty and persuasive for the court, will be known only after several months?