Google Location Data Grabs in the Crosshairs

location tracking

U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Edward Markey (D-MA) have formally requested the FTC to begin an investigation into Google for tracking the location of Android users.

The request follows news originally reported by Quartz, that Google’s location services are actively tracking Android users with a very high degree of detail and sophistication, and the company did so even if tracking services were disabled by the user. While Android users are able to disable GPS tracking, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi signal tracking stays active, and cellular towers are still getting pinged.

“Google has promoted continuous tracking of user location…through a service now called Location History,” the Senators’ letter states. “While Google describes the tracking as an opt-in feature, our own investigation found that the consent process frequently mischaracterizes the service and degrades the functionality of products in order to push users into providing permission.”

This request comes on the heels of news that Oracle has briefed Australia’s competition regulator about similar concerns regarding Google’s data acquisition, specifically the large volume of user data transmitted regularly from Android devices to Google’s data centers.

Google has declined to comment. Read more about the story here.