Lawsuit Claims Google Tracks Users Even After They Opt Out

Leon Neal/Getty Images
Leon Neal/Getty Images

Tech giant Google is facing another lawsuit over allegations that its apps continue to track users even after they opt out of tracking.

Reuters reports that a new lawsuit claims that Google tracks hundreds of thousands of user actions on a daily basis across hundreds of mobile apps, often even after the users have followed the company’s recommended actions for preventing Google from tracking them.

This is the second data privacy lawsuit filed against the company in recent months by the law firm Boies Schiller Flexner on behalf of a number of individual consumers. The firm’s clients also include Google competitors Facebook and Oracle.

The new complaint has been filed in a U.S. district court in San Jose and accuses Google fo violating federal wiretap law and California privacy law by loggings users actions, news viewing habits, ride-hailing actions and other types of app data despite users turning off “Web & App Activity” tracking in their Google account settings.

The lawsuit alleges that the data collection happens through Google’s Firebase, a software popular among app makers for storing data, delivering notifications and ads, and tracking glitches within apps and clicks. Firebase generally operates inside apps completely invisible to consumers.

The lawsuit alleges: “Even when consumers follow Google’s own instructions and turn off ‘Web & App Activity’ tracking on their ‘Privacy Controls,’ Google nevertheless continues to intercept consumers’ app usage and app browsing communications and personal information.”

Google uses some data obtained via Firebase to improve its products and personalize ads and other content for consumers, the lawsuit alleges. Reuters reported in March that U.S. antitrust authorities were investigating whether the company has unlawfully stifled competition in advertising and other businesses by making Firebase unavoidable.

Boies Schiller Flexner accused Google in a separate case of recording Chrome browser users’ activity even when using what Google calls Incognito Mode. Google plans to fight the allegation.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address lucasnolan@protonmail.com

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