Google sued for tracking users' locations without permission

Google has been hit with a federal lawsuit for invasion of privacy – one week after the tech giant was caught tracking iPhone and Android users’ location in spite of enabled privacy settings.

San Diego resident Napolean Patacsil accuses Google in the suit of storing location data “against the express wishes and expectations of its users” in violation of California laws.

Last week, an Associated Press investigation found that the location data from phones was being stored even when the “location history” function was switched off – a breach that affects more than 2 billion Android users and hundreds of millions of iPhone customers who use Google Maps.

“Google expressly represented to users of its operating system and apps that the activation of certain settings will prevent the tracking of users’ geolocations,” says Patacsil’s suit, which was filed Friday in California federal court. “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 complaint says.

Patacsil currently has an iPhone with various Google apps and owned an Android prior to 2016, the suit said. On both devices, he had turned the “location history” off.

The lawsuit seeks class-action status on behalf of the “Android class” and “iPhone class.” It claims Google violated California’s Invasion of Privacy Act and the state’s constitutional right to privacy.

The suit calls on Google to stop its location data-storing practices and destroy all data obtained “from unlawful recording and use of the location information.”

Google didn’t immediately return a message.

This story originally appeared in the New York Post