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Android Phone Users Sue Google Over Alleged Location Tracking

Two Android phone users sued Google Inc. over claims their phones secretly recorded and stored data about their movements.

The two residents of Oakland County in Michigan said in a complaint filed April 27 in federal court in Detroit that their HTC Inspire 4G phones, which use Google’s Android Operating System, track their whereabouts “just as if by a tracking device for which a court-ordered warrant would ordinarily be required.”

The plaintiffs seek to represent other Android phone users in a class-action lawsuit, as well as at least $50 million in damages and a court order requiring Google to stop tracking its products’ users.

Google and Apple Inc. are facing scrutiny from consumers and lawmakers over the collection of data on smart phones. Both companies have agreed to testify at a May 10 Senate hearing about consumer privacy on mobile devices.

Chris Gaither, a spokesman for Mountain View, California-based Google, declined to comment on the lawsuit yesterday.

“We provide users with notice and control over the collection, sharing and use of location” on Androids, Gaither had said in an e-mail on April 27 regarding lawmakers’ concern over data collection. “Any location data that is sent back to Google location servers is anonymized and is not tied or traceable to a specific user.”

The case is Julie Brown v. Google, 11-11867, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan (Detroit).

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