Google sued over Android location tracking

Two users of phones based on Google's Android operating system have filed a class-action lawsuit against the data-hungry Internet advertising giant, claiming the OS's location-tracking function puts them at risk.

Julie Brown and Kayla Molaski of Detroit filed suit in Michigan claiming: "The accessibility of the unencrypted information collected by Google places users at serious risk of privacy invasions, including stalking."

According to the suit, "Cellular phones using the Google Android Operating System
are secretly recording and storing comprehensive details of all their owners' movements. According to security experts, the extensive location data is hidden from users but unencrypted, making it easy for Google or third parties to later access."

The plaintiffs allege Android phones "obtain tracking information every few seconds and download the user location data and unique device ID attached to each specific phone to Google computers on a regular basis several times every hour. The data is unencrypted while being transmitted and while on the mobile devices."

The plaintiffs say they and other Android users "were unaware of Google's extensive tracking of their locations and did not knowingly consent to such tracking."

They say want to stop "Google's illegal and intrusive scheme of collecting personal location information" seek an injunction requiring Google to disable such tracking in its next-released operating system for the relevant devices and also seek damages for violations of their "statutory and common law privacy rights.

They reckon damages should be "in excess of $50,000,000.00".

Both Apple and Google have been tracking users of their phones and for some reason their users are surprised by this.