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Tech Tuesday – Now Google is Being Sued for Tracking Users (UPDATED)

Following in the wake of the story the other week about accusations of Apple’s iPhone supposedly tracking you, Google is now facing a lawsuit on the same accusation of tracking it’s users.

Photo by George Frey/Getty Images

Two Android phone users are suing Google for $50 Million dollars and seeking class action status in the Eastern District of Michigan, saying that Google’s privacy policy said nothing of their phones  tracking them. They go on to say in the suit that the average users wouldn’t understand that from the privacy policy as it’s written.

Like Apple, Google collects information about Wi-Fi hot spots and Cell tower location for quicker access to location services as it can take up to 3 minutes or more for GPS to locate you. The information is collected anonymously, and stored on the phone. The difference between Apple and Google is that Google’s file size is smaller because they are only collecting 50 hot spots and 200 cell towers’ locations. The data is then sent to Google unencrypted.

The suit is also asking the courts to order Google to stop tracking the location of it’s phones. It remains to be seen if Windows 7 users follow suit and sue Mircosoft for the same thing. While the Windows 7 phone doesn’t store the data on the phones, it’s assumed that it’s stored in a data center some where for the same reasons Apple and Google collect information for location services. So now it’s just a matter of time to see if the 3rd shoe drops on this whole tracking scheme.

Update 3/4/2011: Police in South Korea have raided Google’s headquarters on the suspicion of the company tracking user’s via their smart phones.


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