- Google faces a new lawsuit regarding the privacy of its users
- Smartphone users’ data are being tracked, often without their knowledge
- Even apps, like a flashlight, that do not need location data, appears to have been secretly sharing location information
Behemoth search engine Google faces privacy lawsuits anew from a man in California.
The lawsuit states the company continues to track the whereabouts of Android smartphone users even after the user turned off “location history”; thus it also serves as a reminder for its users that their every moment is being recorded, often without their knowledge.
Agence France-Presse stated that privacy concerns regarding mobile devices have grown popular due to its money-making potential. Such that when a tourist visits a place, he will not only receive advertisements from his country but from the country where he’s standing too.
A study from Yale University stated that by 2017, around three-quarters of apps would contain trackers and, usually, advertising.
French government’s technology consumer protection body CNIL released in their 2014 study that a quarter to a third of apps had access to phone’s location.
CNIL further found that some apps track the phone’s more than a million times over a three-month period — having an access to the information every minute.
Interestingly, a fitness app called Polar disclosed sensitive military and intelligence personnel information from 69 countries in July this year. The app has already disabled the function as of posting.
Another health app called Strava was found to have shown sensitive information about US and allied forces around the world.
Even simple apps, like some flashlight apps, which do not need to track people’s data, have been found to tracking the user’s location too.
Issues regarding privacy date back to a decade ago when geolocation was still possible to use. With the advent of GPS, the process went simpler.
Aside from Google, Apple faced a lawsuit in 2011 regarding privacy over its iPhones and iPads.