November 25, 2020

Google sued for abusive tracking of smartphone location data

Google sued for abusive tracking of smartphone location data

Google has just been the subject of a lawsuit for abusive tracking of location data for Android and iOS smartphones. The complaint was filed by a Californian who wants to receive damages and represent all users of smartphones deceived by Google.

On August 14, 2018, Princeton University researchers revealed that Google is recording geo-location data for iOS and Android smartphones , even when users disable “location history” in the settings.

Following this revelation, a lawsuit was filed in federal court by a Californian. The latter accuses Google of violating the law on the protection of privacy . According to him, Google misrepresented that disabling the location history would prevent geolocation tracking.


Google sued after revelations from Princeton researchers


In fact, even after disabling this feature, location data can be collected when using other services such as Google Maps or Google Search . Following the publication of the article Princeton researchers, Google has also changed its support page to clarify that disabling the location history does not affect these other services.

The Californian who filed a lawsuit claims damages, and wants to benefit from the status of class action to represent all US users of iPhone and Android smartphones . It is quite possible that a similar legal action will be filed in France. For now, for its part, Google did not wish to speak on this case .

A majority of global Big Data is generated by smartphone and GPS users

Every day, we create metadata using our smartphones and GPS geolocation functionality . Each photo taken, each website visited, each route traveled creates metadata stored and available for analysis. With more than 5 billion mobile phones in circulation, including 1 billion smartphones in 2015, it is not surprising that many companies are interested in the idea of ​​gleaning valuable content.

Data is not yet sufficiently mined to effectively strengthen cybersecurity

Only recently has humanity understood how to derive useful data from countless available metadata . In the past, companies did not have the resources to analyze this data. From now on, massive investments in this area are expected to improve data mining and the creation of algorithms that can detect threats related to security breaches and cyber attacks.


Big Data automates tasks that used to require laborious manual work


The software developers create tools not only for analyzing the metadata, but also automate tasks more quickly to exploit these data to their advantage . As a result, businesses are more flexible, and analyze Big Data for a reduced cost.

Big Data is used in the field of cyber security to categorize and classify threats

As more information is collected, algorithms for categorizing and classifying malware are developed to help security solution providers . Most software companies use Big Data in four ways. First, to create CARTs, namely classification and regression trees for the predictive classification of event modifiers. Second, to detect threats using Shewhart Control Charts. Third, for non-linear modeling using Splines. Finally, Big Data makes it possible to apply the principle of Goodness of Fit. It is used to verify the stability of historical threat data and build a parsimonious model.