Google sued for 'blatant lies' about user privacy

A new lawsuit alleges that Android and potentially iOS users secretly have their personal data collected by Google “extraordinary voyeur”, even if they do not use Google’s own applications.

In its second lawsuit against Google in as many months, the law firm Boies Schiller Flexner accuses the search giant of illegally collecting user data from mobile users. Where the previous costume specifically concerned the use of Google Chrome, this concerns the use of numerous applications on the Android platform – and potentially on iOS as well.

“Google is still ing,” says the suit, seen by Law360. “Even when it promises to look away, Google is ing. Every click, every website, every application – our entire virtual lives. Intercepted. Tracked. Connected. Compiled. Packaged. Sold for profit.”

As the suit notes, Google has an optional setting to prevent tracking of “web activity and apps”, but claims that this and other privacy assurances are “glaring lies”.

“In fact, Google intercepts, tracks, collects and sells consumer mobile apps that browse browsing and activity data, regardless of the guarantees or” privacy settings “that consumers take to protect their privacy,” he continues.

“Google knows friends, hobbies, political trends, culinary preferences, film tastes, each user’s shopping activities, favorite vacation destinations, romantic implications and even the most intimate and potentially embarrassing aspects of navigation and user use of the app, “says the costume. , “whether or not the user accepts Google’s illusory offer to keep these activities” private “.”

The lawsuit claims that Google achieves this in part through the use of its Firebase SDK. It is an API for developers that helps them integrate tools that monetize applications.

Always from a Google video promoting its Firebase SDK as a backend solution for mobile application developers

Google is promoting the use of this for mobile developers on any platform. “Easy to integrate on iOS, Android and the web,” he says on the Firebase SDK website. “Easily ship cross-platform applications.”

The suit of Boies Schiller Flexner alleges that application developers have “no other choice” than to use this SDK. According to Reuters, in a separate case, the Justice Department included Firebase in its potential antitrust investigations.

Boies Schiller Flexner has filed a lawsuit with the United States District Court in San Jose on behalf of the complainants Anibal Rodriguez and JulieAnne Muniz. While it is unclear what specific damages the lawsuit is asking for, it accuses Google of violating the federal wiretapping law, as well as the California Comprehensive Computer Data Access and Fraud Act.

The similar lawsuit in June 2020 by the same law firm, particularly with regard to the use of Google Chrome, also concerns federal wiretapping law and targets a minimum of $ 5 billion. Google hasn’t commented on the new suit, but has already said it will contest the June 2020 claim.

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