US: Senators ask FTC to investigate Google’s Location tracking

Two US senators have asked the nation’s Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to take another look at Google’s location harvesting.

Democrat Senators Richard Blumenthal and Edward Markey fired off their request-that-can’t-be-ignored late last week, asking the FTC to “open an investigation into the potential deceptive acts and practices used by Google to track and commoditize American consumers.”.

The core of the issue is whether people who say “yes” to the location history feature in Android realise that their locations can be gathered even when Location Services are off. That’s because the GPS is only the most accurate source of location data—if a Wi-Fi hotspot is known to Google, for example, then logging into it will give the company a fairly accurate location for a device.

In the letter, the senators say, “we have significant reservations about Google’s failure to clearly account for how location data is collected and used by the company.”

Google had already replied to a previous request for this information in response to a December 2017 letter from the pair, but they remain dissatisfied, because while Google claimed all services are “opt-in,” they suspect users’ choice is too easily forced. Google is facing a similar complaint in Australia.

Full Content: The Register

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