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Google Faces Tracking Lawsuit

Google has been hit by a class-action lawsuit over claims that it logs hundreds of thousands of records through mobile apps by users, even when they follow the company’s recommended settings to stop such monitoring.

The data privacy lawsuit is the second filed in as many months against Google by law firm Boies Schiller Flexner on behalf a handful of individual consumers.

The law firm’s clients also have included Google competitors such as Facebook and Oracle.

The new complaint accuses Google of violating federal wiretap and California privacy laws by logging what users are looking at in news, ride-hailing and other types of apps, despite them having turned off “Web & App Activity” tracking in their Google account settings.

In Belgium, Google has also been slapped with a record 600,000 euro (A$977,000) fine from Belgium’s Data Protection Authority (APD) for not complying with European rules on a person’s “right to be forgotten.”

The penalty is the largest ever imposed by APD, at more than 10 times bigger than the authority’s previous record penalty.

Google failed to remove links from its search results to articles which APD said were “obsolete” and damaging to the reputation of an unnamed person with a public profile in Belgium.

The news articles, which appeared in results linked to the person’s name, related to unfounded complaints of harassment. Google was “negligent” in deciding not to remove the links, APD said.

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