Google sued for allegedly tracking users in apps even after opting out

This follows a suit last month claiming Google tracked people using Chrome's incognito mode.

Abrar Al-Heeti Video producer / CNET
Abrar Al-Heeti is a video host and producer for CNET, with an interest in internet trends, entertainment, pop culture and digital accessibility. Before joining the video team, she was a writer for CNET's culture team. She graduated with bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Though Illinois is home, she now loves San Francisco -- steep inclines and all.
Expertise Abrar has spent her career at CNET breaking down the latest trends on TikTok, Twitter and Instagram, while also reporting on diversity and inclusion initiatives in Hollywood and Silicon Valley. Credentials
  • Named a Tech Media Trailblazer by the Consumer Technology Association in 2019, a winner of SPJ NorCal's Excellence in Journalism Awards in 2022 and has three times been a finalist in the LA Press Club's National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards.
Abrar Al-Heeti

Google is once again under fire for alleged tracking activity. 

Angela Lang/CNET

A lawsuit filed Tuesday alleges Google tracks user activity through hundreds of thousands of apps, even after people opt out of sharing information. The lawsuit, which seeks class-action status, was filed by law firm Boies Schiller Flexner on behalf of several individuals. The firm has represented competitors to Google, including Facebook and Oracle, according to Reuters. Last month, the firm filed another suit related to privacy in Google's Chrome browser

Google didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. 

The suit, filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of California, alleges that Google violates wiretapping and privacy laws by tracking what users look at in various apps, even after they turn off Web & App Activity tracking in their Google account settings. 

The complaint alleges Google tracks and collects users' app activity through Firebase, a suite of software tools that app makers use to store data, send notifications and ads, and track glitches and clicks. According to the suit, "Through Firebase SDK, Google can '[l]og the user's interactions with the app, including viewing content, creating new content, or sharing content.'... In other words, Google aggressively tracks what consumers browse, see, create, and share online when using the apps installed on their mobile devices."

In June, Boies Schiller Flexner sued Google for $5 billion for allegedly tracking people's internet use, even when their browsers were set to incognito mode. Google said it disputed the claims and would defend itself against them. 

You can read Tuesday's lawsuit here: