An anonymous reader shares a report: Google was sued last week for allegedly stealing Android users’ cellular data allowances through unapproved, undisclosed transmissions to the web giant’s servers. The lawsuit, Taylor et al v. Google, was filed in a US federal district court in San Jose on behalf of four plaintiffs based in Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin in the hope the case will be certified by a judge as a class action. The complaint contends that Google is using Android users’ limited cellular data allowances without permission to transmit information about those individuals that’s unrelated to their use of Google services. Data sent over Wi-Fi is not at issue, nor is data sent over a cellular connection in the absence of Wi-Fi when an Android user has chosen to use a network-connected application. What concerns the plaintiffs is data sent to Google’s servers that isn’t the result of deliberate interaction with a mobile device — we’re talking passive or background data transfers via cell network, here. “Google designed and implemented its Android operating system and apps to extract and transmit large volumes of information between Plaintiffs’ cellular devices and Google using Plaintiffs’ cellular data allowances,” the complaint claims. “Google’s misappropriation of Plaintiffs’ cellular data allowances through passive transfers occurs in the background, does not result from Plaintiffs’ direct engagement with Google’s apps and properties on their devices, and happens without Plaintiffs’ consent.” The allegation: “The device, stationary, with all apps closed, transferred data to Google about 16 times an hour, or about 389 times in 24 hours. Assuming even half of that data is outgoing, Google would receive about 4.4MB per day or 130MB per month in this manner per device subject to the same test conditions.”
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