Following an Associated Press report revealing that Google tracks user location even when users opt-out, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) in D.C. contends the Google if violating the 2011 consent order on privacy issues.
In the settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Google is not allowed to track users after they have opted out of location tracking in their privacy setting. If a user disables their Location History, according to the report, Google apps will still automatically store time-stamped location data without getting prior consent.
“Google’s subsequent changes to its policy, after it has already obtained location data on Internet users, fails to comply with the 2011 order.” – EPIC via letter to the FTC.
Google, the group says, has mispresented the extent to which users have control over the location data the company already acquired.
EPIC told the FTC that “The Commission’s inactions have made the Internet less safe and less secure for users and consumers.”
The 2011 settlement with Google followed a detailed complaint brought by EPIC and a coalition of consumer organizations. The groups charged that Google had engaged in unfair and deceptive trade practices when it changed the privacy settings of Gmail users and opted them into Google Buzz.
The FTC agreed with the consumer groups, Google entered into a settlement and Buzz was shut down.