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Google Sued For Tracking Users' Locations

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the privacy-headlines-autoconvert-to-lawsuits-now dept.

Android 266

RedEaredSlider writes "Two Android phone users are suing Google for $50 million in the wake of revelations that their phones might be tracking their locations. The lawsuit, filed in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan on April 27, is seeking class-action status. The plaintiffs, Julie Brown and Kayla Molaski, are residents of Oakland County. The two say in the suit that Google's privacy policy did not say that the phones broadcast their location information. Further, they say Google knew that most users would not understand that the privacy policy would allow for Google to track users' locations." Apple was sued for their location tracking last week. According to Boy Genius Report, iOS tracking will be addressed in version 4.3.3, which is due out within a couple weeks.

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Irresistible (2)

sehgalanuj (2057492) | more than 3 years ago | (#36003242)

There is a lot of money to be made in knowing where a user is. For Google it is a great advertising opportunity. By their own admission they are an advertising company. Put location gathering capabilities in a device made by such an advertiser and isn't it common sense that they may try to gather location information?

just pay 50 million (2)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 3 years ago | (#36003574)

There is a lot of money to be made in knowing where a user is. For Google it is a great advertising opportunity. By their own admission they are an advertising company. Put location gathering capabilities in a device made by such an advertiser and isn't it common sense that they may try to gather location information?

which is why 50 million would be cheap if it's a class action settlement.

Re:Irresistible (4, Insightful)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 3 years ago | (#36003728)

Yes, but that's irrelevant. Google is very clear about the ramifications of their location based/enhanced services. Either these people are idiots, or they need to sue whatever carrier modified the code to not sure Google's location aware warnings.

Re:Irresistible (4, Insightful)

RicoX9 (558353) | more than 3 years ago | (#36003916)

They're Idiots. I just got my first Android phone. You get warned when you go through setup. You get warned when you install and start EVERY APPLICATION that they'll be tracking you. There is no ambiguity if you have half a brain.

Idiots.

Re:Irresistible (4, Insightful)

joh (27088) | more than 3 years ago | (#36003900)

I'm saying this over and over these days, but: Knowing the location of the phone that views a certain ad right now is not evil. Knowing WHICH phone it is and/or WHO the user is, this is evil.

Google (and MS) just use an engineering approach here and use the Unique Device ID for tagging the location data (and AdMob even adds the Carrier User ID). What Apple does with iAd (use random IDs that get renewed on the iPhone every 12 hours) is much better, since it avoids this privacy problem to begin with. Using random IDs allows targeting phones and harvesting location information without identifying users/phones or tracking users over time.

Come on, fellow nerds: There ARE technical solutions to technical problems. Recognize that privacy is valuable and implement your stuff in a way that honours privacy by making abuse impossible (or at least possible only in a very abstract way) and you can have both: Advertisers targeting users and users not being tracked.

The amount of dumb fear and paranoia and especially the unwillingness to talk about technical details is just mindblowing. Advertisers are not after YOU. They may be after all people in a certain location or with a certain income or whatever, but they do not care for you personally and in fact they would LOVE to not have to care for such privacy problems by getting a clean implementation that gives them clean and anonymous data to work with. They work with "dirty" and too personal data only if they haven't got anything else.

good (2, Insightful)

SpiralSpirit (874918) | more than 3 years ago | (#36003250)

this mandatory "give phone makers your location all the time" thing has got to be put down.

Re:good (2, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#36003350)

ummm. It is the law at least for the carriers to collect that info. That is how 911 location tracking works.
The thing I can not stomach is this law suit is because "They are too stupid to read and understand and didn't bother to ask questions!"
I mean really do people have no shame?

Re:good (3, Interesting)

SpiralSpirit (874918) | more than 3 years ago | (#36003430)

carriers aren't the issue. google isn't a carrier, its not even a phone manufacturer. They wrote the OS, they're collecting data. The carrier probably doesn't need your consent to track your location, they don't monetize that information.

Re:good (0)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 3 years ago | (#36003658)

There is no shame in the suit. You assume too much of people. Most people hardly have the time to ask questions or learn legalese or pay lawyers to read all the paperwork they somehow get involved in. The problem is that the product and its sales people deliberately obfuscate, misrepresent, or outright lie about these isues and most people for th aforementioned reasons are none the wiser.

The truth is, these companies tracking and profiting from this data actually assumed people like you would never notice or do anythin about it... or in your case, side with them against your felow citizens for lack of understanding or emapthy.

Re:good (2)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 3 years ago | (#36003760)

Most people hardly have the time to ask questions or learn legalese or pay lawyers to read all the paperwork they somehow get involved in.

Too bad for them, then. I believe that stupidity (or claiming you don't have enough time) is a terrible defense. That isn't the companies' fault, after all.

Not really a statement (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36003704)

Reading a EULA is like reading a paperback novel. Only it's written in Sanskrit and there's no character development, plot, or even anything interesting happening. Seriously, they write those things knowing damn well that NOBODY WILL EVER READ THEM. Heck, most people don't even possess the wherewithall or legal chops to read them. When you're standing in a queue in Best Buy you rarely have time for such things. And then when you get the thing home I'm sure the first thing you want to do is sit and swot over 80 pages of legal blurb and jargon then spend 2 weeks formulating the holes and headroom for exploitation in that contract before you sign your life away. If we all did this there wouldn't be a single consumer in this country...guaranteed!! The average employment contract is simpler than an iPod contract, WTH?

Plus, by the time you've read the EULA it's changed anyway so what's the point?

Re:good (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36003778)

ummm. It is the law at least for the carriers to collect that info. That is how 911 location tracking works.

That is alright at the moment I do a 911 call. In the meantime there is no need for any location tracking.

Re:good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36004024)

Wow. Are you *really* defending 10-mile-long lawyer code contracts??

I bet you $100 right on the hand, that you can NOT fully comprehend even a SINGLE ONE of the contracts you made with big companies. And I bet you another $100 that you did NOT read most of them anyway.
You may think you understand them. But you canâ(TM)t. Ever.
You may think you will read them. But you won't. Hypocrite.

Those are DELIBERATELY designed to cause the biggest possible harm fathomable to the user at the profit of the company.

But of course, the retards believe the criminals writing those contracts, that it's "not" deliberate, and they are just $BLATANT_LIE and $ANOTHER_GIGANTIC_AND_DISGUSTING_LIE.
Which means they deserve it for being so oblivious and gullible.

I urge you to watch http://www.southparkstudios.com/full-episodes/s15e01-humancentipad [southparkstudios.com]

Re:good (4, Insightful)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#36003372)

Cell phones don't work if the towers don't know where you are. Location tracking is part of the spec.

Re:good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36003608)

> Location tracking is part of the spec...

True. The problem, however, is that everyone jumped up and down to give all their personal data to the phone companies with subscription plans.

If my phone is prepaid and the phone company has no clue whatsoever who the phone belongs to, then the towers knowing the location of that phone means nothing.

I was always amazed at how many people were willing to get locked into plans.

Re:good (3, Informative)

Jahava (946858) | more than 3 years ago | (#36003650)

> Location tracking is part of the spec...

True. The problem, however, is that everyone jumped up and down to give all their personal data to the phone companies with subscription plans.

If my phone is prepaid and the phone company has no clue whatsoever who the phone belongs to, then the towers knowing the location of that phone means nothing.

I was always amazed at how many people were willing to get locked into plans.

Not so; it is easy to de-anonymize tracking information by looking at the heavily-traveled areas. Most likely, those are your workplace and your place of residence. I'll bet that's enough to uniquely identify the vast majority of people.

That's the problem with location information. It's invariably tied to your physical self and your lifestyle, anonymous or not.

Re:good (1)

nabsltd (1313397) | more than 3 years ago | (#36003822)

If my phone is prepaid and the phone company has no clue whatsoever who the phone belongs to, then the towers knowing the location of that phone means nothing.

...as long as you throw the phone away before some government employee retrieves all the data from it.

But, seriously, this really is one of those rare cases of "done nothing wrong...nothing to fear", as it's much more likely that location data from the carrier would be used before the location data from the phone. For example, if phone calls from kidnappers had come in at certain times from certain towers, then any phone ID that was using those towers at all those times would be something to help lead to a suspect. It would be harder to track down an individual if they use a prepaid phone, but if they already had a suspect, then it wouldn't really matter if the data was on the phone, because the carrier would also have the data.

Personally, the features that location data gives me is worth the very small hit at my privacy.

Re:good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36003660)

I don't think the phones were broadcasting this; even though almost every app asks permission to access this. The WiFi data is used for a non-GPS for personal location detection supplementing tower triangulation, which is something I find useful, and is optional. People want and use this feature. If people are going to complain, they need to read the Terms of Service and know what it is their device is capable of, instead of being dumb and then suing the company.

-Anon

Re:good (-1, Troll)

Nyder (754090) | more than 3 years ago | (#36003424)

this mandatory "give phone makers your location all the time" thing has got to be put down.

If the cell companies didn't track you, how would you get your calls? How would you be able to call?

Ya, oddly enough, the same thing that connects you to their services tracks you. That's how you receive calls, and how you get a signal to call out.

What is wrong with people? This is how technology works. Don't like it? Quit using cellphones.

I miss the pre-internet days, when I just thought the people around me were stupid. Now i know most everyone in the world is.

Re:good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36003554)

Obviously if you weren't such a pretentious little cunt you'd realize that the problem people have is with these companies sharing information on every movement they make to whatever companies are willing to pay them the most for it, not that it's required for the phones to work (and incidentally, location based services on both Android and iOS aren't required for the cell portion of the phone to work anyway, which makes your whole argument invalid).

Of course being a narcissist you've already dismissed me as being less intelligent than you for having a differing opinion, so I'll just lower myself down to your level and make a joke about your mother. Hey, you know your mother? She should have had her pussy stapled shut so that she couldn't squat out a little turd like you.

Re:good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36003582)

not that it's required for the phones to work

No but it is for the Social Network bells and whistles that the users wanted when they bought the phones.

Other than that, you should watch your mouth, because I *am* your mother.

Re:good (1)

SpiralSpirit (874918) | more than 3 years ago | (#36003618)

not even. you can post shit of facebook and twitter without google knowing where you are right now. You can even have the phone ask you each instance it wants to get your location.

Re:good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36003716)

Good grief, you should have your ham radio license taken away for talking like that.

You might want to look into some counseling for your emotional issues, too.

Re:good (4, Insightful)

SpiralSpirit (874918) | more than 3 years ago | (#36003580)

as mentioned above, google is not a carrier and need not know anything about my whereabouts, EVER. Actual carriers can track me without putting a program on my phone to do it - they just check to see what towers I've checked in on.

Re:good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36003898)

And google doesn't get your location if you don't turn on enhanced location services (or use a google application predicated on knowing your location), which, at least on my unmoded Nexus One, throws up:

"Allow Google's location service to collect anonymous location data. Collection will occur even when no applications are running." [agree] [disagree]

It is in fact necessary to give google your location for the wifi based location services to work, at all, ever. From an engineering stand point, the only way to get around that would be to have the entire wifi DB on your phone, which is not technically feasible at this time.

Re:good (2)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 3 years ago | (#36003692)

The data you mention is momentary. The issue is that it is recorded and shared. I'm glad to inform you of the difference.

Re:good (1)

GofG (1288820) | more than 3 years ago | (#36003876)

It makes sense for the cell phone companies to be able to track you. Google, however, should not.

Re:good (1)

aztektum (170569) | more than 3 years ago | (#36003510)

I am presented with various informational screens about what is happening with my Android phone when I enable any location based services. I can choose to leave them disabled.

How is that making it mandatory?

Re:good (3, Interesting)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 3 years ago | (#36003754)

this mandatory "give phone makers your location all the time" thing has got to be put down.

Unless a CARRIER modified some app or service on the phone, Google is VERY clear about their location aware services, and allow enabling or disabling them. Thus, (a) either these people are idiots, or (b) they need to sue the CARRIER who fucked with the software to hide the location awareness aspects. Either way, Google is not the issue here.

Re:good (2)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 3 years ago | (#36003972)

Correct. The first thing the phone does when you got to set it up is ask if you want to share your location data with Google. If someone shows that Google collects that data even when told not to, then there is a problem. Otherwise there isn't. The big hoopla over Apple was that they collected data even when location services were turned off.

My location is personal. Much like other personal things, consent is the difference between fun and abuse.

Yeah, I mean... (4, Informative)

mdm-adph (1030332) | more than 3 years ago | (#36003256)

...doesn't it tell you upon first startup of _every_ Android phone that Google is going to be tracking your location ("sending anonymous location statistics"), and that you can turn it off if you want, but you won't be able to use apps and features that require it? It's not buried somewhere in the TOS -- it's an entire screen that you have to go through upon setting up an Android phone.

Data vs. statistiss (2)

UBfusion (1303959) | more than 3 years ago | (#36003432)

The accurate term that should be used in the TOS is "location data" and not just "location statistics". "Data" would contain (precise or approximate) location coordinates while "statistics" should contain only numbers pertaining to locations e.g. "user x was located within 100 meters of location y during month z".

The end user may read the TOS in detail but my bet is that he does not understand what he reads.

Re:Data vs. statistiss (1)

Kenoli (934612) | more than 3 years ago | (#36003928)

The accurate term that should be used in the TOS is "location data" and not just "location statistics". "Data" would contain (precise or approximate) location coordinates while "statistics" should contain only numbers pertaining to locations e.g. "user x was located within 100 meters of location y during month z".

Those "numbers pertaining to locations" sure sound like approximate coordinates to me.

What a crock of double standard! (1, Insightful)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | more than 3 years ago | (#36003434)

Not to mention, unlike Apple, who miraculously has avoided suit over this same problem, you can ACTUALLY turn it off, so it doesn't send ANY data.

I don't use the GPS or location features, so I disable all location triangulation, GPS satellite, and reporting features in my Droid. On my iPhone 4, I can't do that, no matter how badly I want to.

So who really deserves to get sued here?

Re:What a crock of double standard! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36003768)

Here's a tip: to turn Location Services off, slide the toggle to the off position. Also, if you don't want to allow an application to use your location data, when it says "Application X would like to use your location. Allow/Don't Allow" choose "Don't allow."

Next you're going to tell me you can't right-click on a Mac, aren't you?

Re:What a crock of double standard! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36003836)

You should check under Settings - > Location Services and click the little box that says On/Off. That will shut off all app access, which can only be turned back on through that menu or if you click Yes when an app asks you to allow Location Services. You can also turn on/off individual apps from that screen. Now this may not affect anything hidden in the iOS itself, but the same could be said of Google.

Re:What a crock of double standard! (3, Informative)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 3 years ago | (#36003922)

On my iPhone 4, I can't do that, no matter how badly I want to.

Only because you are ignorant of how to do so. You can disable it on iOS just like in Android.

Re:Yeah, I mean... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36003748)

Yes, it does. It is very clear. You can also turn it off very easily. THIS suit should get thrown out. The Apple one has merit simply because of the storage part.

Re:Yeah, I mean... (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 3 years ago | (#36004008)

I would disagree with that. The storage part isn't really the bad part. If it stayed on your phone, then it would just be sloppy. The problem is that Apple was collecting data off of your phone even when specifically told not to.

There's a key difference here. (5, Informative)

lowlymarine (1172723) | more than 3 years ago | (#36003260)

On Android, you have to MANUALLY TURN ON network-location-based services (they are disabled by default), and when you do so, you are given a warning that anonymized information will be collected by Google. The only way you could be unaware of this "tracking" is if you failed to read the warning before tapping "agree," and that's hardly Google's fault. This isn't some sprawling 100-page EULA with the warning buried in the middle, either. It's two flipping sentences.

Re:There's a key difference here. (1)

SpiralSpirit (874918) | more than 3 years ago | (#36003280)

many cell phone stores do the setup for the customer, and the customer never sees the "start up" screen and the box. they cell phone salesperson just click ok ok next until they can set up the email etc for them.

Re:There's a key difference here. (2)

mdm-adph (1030332) | more than 3 years ago | (#36003306)

And again, this is not the fault of Google. Sue the cell phone store.

Re:There's a key difference here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36004016)

many cell phone stores do the setup for the customer, and the customer never sees the "start up" screen and the box. they cell phone salesperson just click ok ok next until they can set up the email etc for them.

And again, this is not the fault of Google. Sue the cell phone store.

YES, Google should sue the cell phone store, AFTER Google pays the people they wrongfully tracked. Or do you think I should I be able to sell your car/house even though I don't have legal standing to bind you to that agreement?

Re:There's a key difference here. (5, Informative)

lowlymarine (1172723) | more than 3 years ago | (#36003320)

Following the initial set-up, network location is STILL OFF until you go into settings and enable it. Hence, "disabled by default." If the salesman then proceeded to go into settings and turn on network location without telling the customer, then sue the store, not Google.

Reality check. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36003676)

....sue the store, not Google.

1. The Law is not fair. Or, it may not be fair to you, but it is quite fair to another person or interest.

2. Google has deeper pockets than any cell phone store or chain of cell phone stores.

And as far as user agreements, in this corporately run society, you have only two choices: take it or leave it.

I've chosen to leave it and I'm quite happy, thank-you-very-much.

Re:Reality check. (1)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 3 years ago | (#36003812)

And as far as user agreements, in this corporately run society, you have only two choices: take it or leave it.

I've chosen to leave it and I'm quite happy, thank-you-very-much.

Entirely irrelevant to this discussion, since you can actually choose not to turn on location aware services on Android (and they are off by default). Additionally, the "user agreement" warning for this is two sentences that are easy to understand.

Re:There's a key difference here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36003336)

sue the stores?

Re:There's a key difference here. (2)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#36003368)

seems like it is worth 50 million to me. I mean you can see how this did 50 million dollars worth of damage right?

Re:There's a key difference here. (2)

avgjoe62 (558860) | more than 3 years ago | (#36003428)

No, I can't, but then again I'm not their lawyers looking to pay off a Lamborghini...

Re:There's a key difference here. (1)

chromaexcursion (2047080) | more than 3 years ago | (#36003588)

Then they can sue the store, not Google. Each app that uses location data has a red flag that is does in the app description. RTFM. Failure to do so may impair your right to sue.

Re:There's a key difference here. (1)

SpiralSpirit (874918) | more than 3 years ago | (#36003636)

...separate issue from google collecting location data all the time.

Re:There's a key difference here. (1)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 3 years ago | (#36003828)

...separate issue from google collecting location data all the time.

Huh? My GPS only turns on when I use Maps, Latitude or Nav (or do a Facebook check-in). And those are all by choice with me fully knowing the repercussions (since Google spells them out pretty clearly).

Re:There's a key difference here. (1, Troll)

vinng86 (1978262) | more than 3 years ago | (#36003422)

Indeed. Here's a picture. [imgur.com]

Warning: Goatse link (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36003470)

Homosexual pornographic troll.

Re:There's a key difference here. (3, Interesting)

joh (27088) | more than 3 years ago | (#36003934)

This "anonymized information" still contains the unique device ID of your phone that gets only reset when you do a factory reset of your phone. AdMob (by Google) submits this unique device ID as well as the carrier user ID along with your location data every time you view an ad.

Come on, this is just too much information.

Yawn (5, Insightful)

Lysander7 (2085382) | more than 3 years ago | (#36003282)

Just another story of idiots trying to make easy money by suing a corporation.

No... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36003382)

...it's the story of a lawyer trying to make easy money by helping idiots sue a corporation.

Re:Yawn (2)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#36003450)

Yeah just like the corporations made "easy money" by sucking 1500 billion from the Taypayer Treasury. Please pardon me if I feel no sympathy for inanimate objects like rocks, buildings, or corporations. They basically enslaved and sucked dollars from the wallets of ~300 million working class citizens.

Re:Yawn (1)

Lysander7 (2085382) | more than 3 years ago | (#36003506)

But legally, corporations are people! ...God our government is messed up.

It's Google (1, Troll)

geoffrobinson (109879) | more than 3 years ago | (#36003318)

I hate to be mean or make excuses for them, but why would anyone be surprised by this? They are making the operating system for free. How would you expect an advertising company to monetize that?

And this is also why I avoid Chrome.

Re:It's Google (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36003348)

They make money via the market and by charging for access to the market. You can disable location services, heck it comes out of the box disabled. The user has to actively enable it.

Re:It's Google (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 3 years ago | (#36003974)

Not sure why you are modded troll. Seriously, any company that offers a free service has to have a financial incentive elsewhere in order to keep providing the service. Google is an advertising company, at the end of the day. Technology is their vehicle.

Not required... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36003322)

When you turn on your phone the first time, it asks you if you want to send this information to Google. Just uncheck the box.

Store reps for carriers tend to click through these options for people, if they did that to you then they're responsible not Google.

$50 Million? Seriously? (1)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 3 years ago | (#36003344)

I'd like to know what kind of damages they've incurred as a result of being tracked by Google that justifies a $50 million payday...

Re:$50 Million? Seriously? (1)

Applekid (993327) | more than 3 years ago | (#36003380)

I'd like to know what kind of damages they've incurred as a result of being tracked by Google that justifies a $50 million payday...

That's called "punitive damages". Not based on damage done, but a sufficiently high number to coerce a settlement -- er, I mean -- punish the company for wrong doing.

Re:$50 Million? Seriously? (1)

Drathos (1092) | more than 3 years ago | (#36003682)

Actually, when I saw this on Ars the other day, they claimed:

The lawsuits asks the court to require Google to either give up tracking Android users or to clearly inform users of "its true intentions about tracking," including whether that information is released to third partis are used for marketing. It further seeks monetary damages "in excess of $50,000,000.00" as well as punitive damages on top of that amount.

So, this sounds like a cash grab, to me.

Re:$50 Million? Seriously? (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#36003556)

Luxury Yachts won't pay themselves.

Re:$50 Million? Seriously? (1)

StripedCow (776465) | more than 3 years ago | (#36003718)

I think they use RIAA-style reasoning here. And why not?

Re:$50 Million? Seriously? (2)

cvtan (752695) | more than 3 years ago | (#36003734)

I don't even own an Android phone and I've been damaged $100miliion worth just listening to the suffering. (Accident witness stress syndrome).

Look deeper into the hardware (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#36003352)

Where any information gathered is a 'trade secret'.. This is where you will find the real problem. The software cannot turn it off. You have to remove the battery if you want to do that.

Are users really that oblivious (1, Informative)

realsilly (186931) | more than 3 years ago | (#36003374)

Even cell phones with those tiny SIM cards allow a User to be tracked. So why wouldn't makers of cell phones that do everything but cook for you do any less?

DUH!

Re:Are users really that oblivious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36003438)

"those tiny SIM cards" -- you sound like my grandmaother after watching an episode of 20/20 about cell phones.

Google asks for your consent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36003400)

Android phones, on first bootup asks you if you want to allow Google to track your anonymous location data. [imgur.com] You can even disable it after via a menu option.

Nothing wrong here, move along.

Re:Google asks for your consent (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 3 years ago | (#36003940)

I tried posting the equivalent argument in the iPhone version of this story and got flamed into oblivion as a fanboy. As your screen shot clearly shows (and as does the same feature for iPhone), it actually IS a feature that many of us want. The negatives, for many of us, are drowned in a sea of positives (cool features that require location services).

But hey, don't try saying something nice about location services in a slashdot thread about iPhones if you are thin skinned.

Might (2)

khr (708262) | more than 3 years ago | (#36003404)

their phones might be tracking their locations

Might? Might be tracking their locations? Sounds like they don't even know if it is or not...

Government Mandate (2)

jklovanc (1603149) | more than 3 years ago | (#36003474)

There is a mandate in the US that states that cell phones must be tracked for 911 purposes. So Google must collect the info for 911 to use. Giving it to advertising companies is a different story.

Re:Government Mandate (2)

Whatanut (203397) | more than 3 years ago | (#36003596)

Negative. Google need do no such thing. The cell operators need to do this. Google does so because they can. The carriers do so because they must.

Google does NOT have to collect that info (1)

hellfire (86129) | more than 3 years ago | (#36003872)

The phone has to have the ability to notify the carrier of it's location, who can then give that to 911 as necessary. Sure that means that Android may have to do something in order to enable that, but one of those things is NOT to phone home to Google.

This case is already lost (1)

UBfusion (1303959) | more than 3 years ago | (#36003504)

IANAL, but my bet is they're going to lose the case for claiming to know Google's intent. How can one possibly know that "Google knew that most users would not understand that the privacy policy etc." without being a Google employee?

Easy win for Google (1)

jd2112 (1535857) | more than 3 years ago | (#36003542)

Assuming the GPS on those phones works as bad as any of the Android phones I've ever used.

Location Tracking a Good Thing (1, Redundant)

travdaddy (527149) | more than 3 years ago | (#36003558)

Location Tracking may be a Good Thing. News is coming out that Osama was tracked down because he had an iPhone. Even after the news came out about the location tracking, he couldn't put down Angry Birds.

notintendedtobeafactualstatement

Re:Location Tracking a Good Thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36003806)

Strangely enough, Angry Birds on iOS asks to be allowed to use Location Services, even though there is no part of the game that could possibly use that info. Not something I was particularly impressed with in a paid-for application.

Amazing (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 3 years ago | (#36003570)

I suppose there's plenty of time for the winds to change - but it's amazing how different the tone of pretty much all the replies on this post is versus the ones on Apple's location tracking just a few days ago.

Oh, but I forgot - it's Google. They use Open software (somewhat) and state they're not evil.

Re:Amazing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36003654)

Google lets you turn it off. In fact it's off *by bloody default*. Apple does not let you turn it off.

Re:Amazing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36003674)

And again, the OPT-IN difference, but that would take apart your argument, right?

Add that to not storing and unencrypted cache of all of your location data, conveniently updated whenever you would dock with itunes...

Dear ALL FREAKING BUSINESSES: (1, Interesting)

Scutter (18425) | more than 3 years ago | (#36003690)

STOP MONETIZING ME! I am not a data goldmine for you to rape at your convenience! Sell me the product that I want (NOT the product you think I need, or the Trojan Horse product that gets you access to my information) and then STEP OFF.

Re:Dear ALL FREAKING BUSINESSES: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36003824)

Dear Scutter: Sit down, shut up, and buy our shit like everyone else. -ALL FREAKING BUSINESSES

Re:Dear ALL FREAKING BUSINESSES: (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 3 years ago | (#36003888)

STOP MONETIZING ME! I am not a data goldmine for you to rape at your convenience! Sell me the product that I want (NOT the product you think I need, or the Trojan Horse product that gets you access to my information) and then STEP OFF.

So stop buying their mining devices then.

Yes, and of course giant mega-corporation is going to make a phone with features YOU -- 18425 -- want and not what the majority of people want.

Re:Dear ALL FREAKING BUSINESSES: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36003926)

Dear Product , it's your patriotic duty as an American to be Monetized. Rest assured until the majority of the publics morality catches up to the netherlands standards we have no interest in raping you, there no legal market for it. If that however changes well we know where to find you.

Bravo! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36003702)

These lawsuits are steps in the right direction. I will enjoy watching this fight :-) "LET'S GET READY TO RUMBLE"!

You have to be fucking joking (1)

atari2600a (1892574) | more than 3 years ago | (#36003714)

Who would have thought LOCATION AWARENESS would mean the device would be AWARE of your LOCATION!? Seriously it says right there when you turn it on that it'll forward your coordinates & any Wifi SSIDs directly to Google!

Re:You have to be fucking joking (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 3 years ago | (#36003826)

Location awareness ain't the problem. It's reporting your comings and goings back to Google HQ. But, even if it were outlawed, I'm sure they'd figure out ways to log your shopping location queries and extract your location.

Re:You have to be fucking joking (1)

GryMor (88799) | more than 3 years ago | (#36004020)

It doesn't work without sending the location data to google, and by "doesn't work" I really mean, "can't work" without sending data to a centralized system to look up the necessary data to compute your enhanced location. In some sense, your phone doesn't send Google precisely where you are, instead, it sends statistics from which Google derives a better guess as to where you are and sends it back to you.

Fun thing is, unlike Apple, they actually TELL YOU what they are doing when you turn it on, and ASK if you really want to do it.

Really? (1)

cultiv8 (1660093) | more than 3 years ago | (#36003732)

From Count III of the complaint:

Google also could have required a single sentence disclosure describing its rampant covert tracking of individual users' locations to be signed by purchasers.

Actually, Google has two sentences [bgr.com] .

what's the big deal? (1)

hldn (1085833) | more than 3 years ago | (#36003774)

everyone already knows julie brown is downtown.

hyuk hyuk hyuk.

Next (1)

C_Kode (102755) | more than 3 years ago | (#36003842)

Start lining up to sue all the app developers too.

new headline: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36003848)

Google sued because people love money.

Trey Parker (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 3 years ago | (#36003866)

Proof positive that Trey Parker is a genius.

Suing Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36003874)

Google needs to WIN this one big time.

Lawsuit for FUD? (0)

NimbleSquirrel (587564) | more than 3 years ago | (#36003968)

e911 requires mobile phones to be capable of identifying their location. No-one is suing the government about that.

Telecommunication companies have been about to identify individual phones (through IMEI) and track their movements through cell tower triangulation. No-one is suing them about that.

Yet Google make a phone when location services have to be activated by the user, and they get sued. The key difference between them an Apple is that activation of the location services. It seems Apple users don't get a choice. I suspect these two ladies a) haven't owned Android phones very long (they're just in it to make some money off Google); and b) have some kind of distant tie to Apple (extremely convenient that this happens right after Apple's Location Services scandal).

I'm willing to bet that, as this is an opt-in service, this lawsuit won't go far.
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