A lawsuit seeking class action status has alleged that even after users of alphabet Inc’s Google’s apps follow the company’s recommended settings for stopping monitoring of what they are doing, the company continues to record the activities of on hundreds of thousands of mobile apps.
The law suit against Google has been filed by the law firm Boies Schiller Flexner on behalf a handful of individual consumers and this is the second case of approached breach of privacy filed by the firm against the search engine giant in as many months.
Google competitors such as Facebook Inc and Oracle Corp have been part of the clients of the law firm.
There were no comments on the issue available from Google as well as from Facebook Inc and Oracle Corp and other clients of the law firm.
The latest data breach lawsuit against Google has been filed in a United States district court in San Jose. The case filing alleges that Google had violated the wiretap law of the Federal government as well as privacy law in California by recording the activities of its users such as whether they were looking at news, ride-hailing and other types of apps. This has been taking place despite most of the users having already turned off “Web & App Activity” tracking in their Google account settings.
Google’s Firebase, a set of software popular among app makers for storing data, is the main conduit through which Google collects data in this manner, alleges the lawsuit. Firebase is also used by app developers and publishers to deliver notifications and ads as well as for tracking glitches and clicks. The use of Firebase which is typically inside apps is typically not visible to consumers.
“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,” the lawsuit contends.
Gthe law suit alleges that some of the data gathered by Google through Firebase is used by Google to enhance its products and to personalize ads and other content for specific sets of consumers.
There were reports in the media in March about Google being investigated by US antitrust investigators into allegations against Google that the company has been unlawfully engaged in reducing competition in advertising and other businesses by essentially making it mandatory thee use of Firebase.
Allegations against Google that it was surreptitiously recording Chrome browser users’ activity even when they activated what Google calls Incognito mode was made Boies Schiller Flexner in the case that was filed by it last month.
Google said it would fight the claim
(Adapted from Reuters.com)