Two Michigan women have filed a $50 million lawsuit demanding Google stop selling phones that identify user locations.
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Last week a Google executive revealed to US authorities its Android OS stores user location data on devices, if using GPS services. However, it insists it is for a short period only.
It was also disclosed that the search giant collects location data from Wi Fi connected computers that use its Chrome browser or search toolbar.
However, it maintains details are anonymous, enhance user experience and not linked to any other purpose, despite Google making a million dollar industry out of selling location based advertising.
Once the location tool is turned on, the search giant gets fed data from the computer toolbar when it scans the area for other wireless networks.
The class action, the first of its kind in the US, was filed on Wednesday by Julie Brown and Kayla Molaski, who insists it is not just a matter of a company tracking movements but poses a threat to safety and demand the giant cease selling the Android software.
“Users [are] at serious risk of privacy invasions, including stalking,” their lawyer said in the file action, The Detroit News reports.
However, Larry Page’s company insist any location tracking is done with user permission.
It could be just the first in a barrage of cases taken against the internet powerhouse as well as Apple, whose Mac computers were found to be snow leopards – tracking user locations while hooking up to Wi Fi networks.
The revelations emerged as the US Senate opens up a Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law investigating the protection of mobile privacy and has asked both companies to attend the hearing in May.