A group of Android users have lost another round in a privacy battle with Google over alleged location tracking.
On Thursday, U.S. District Court Judge Edward Davila in San Jose, California rejected the Android users' request to immediately appeal his earlier ruling dismissing their claim that Google violated the California Invasion of Privacy Act.
The battle dates to 2018, when Napoleon Patacsil of San Diego and other California residents alleged in a class-action complaint that Google's location-tracking practices violated the California Invasion of Privacy Act as well as the state constitution, and a state prohibition on "intrusion upon seclusion” -- a broad privacy concept that involves an intentional and “highly offensive” intrusion into a private place.
Patacsil and the others filed suit several days after The Associated Press reported that the company stores location data gleaned from some services, including search and maps, even when users turn off the “Location History” setting. The AP report said users must turn off a separate "Web and App Activity” to prevent Google from collecting and storing location data from services like maps.
Last December, Davila dismissed the claim that Google violated the California Invasion of Privacy Act, which prohibits companies from using an “electronic tracking device” to determine people's locations.
Davila said in his ruling that smartphones weren't the type of tracking devices covered by the law. He threw out that claim “with prejudice,” meaning that the users can't beef up their allegations and bring it again.
Davila also dismissed the other two claims, but allowed the users to reformulate them.
Patacsil and the others then asked Davila for permission to take the entire matter to the 9th Circuit, arguing that questions about the California Invasion of Privacy Act are critical to the overall case.
Davila said that the consumers had not shown a good enough reason for him to allow an “interlocutory” appeal -- meaning an appeal before the case had concluded at the district court.
“Accepting plaintiffs’ reasoning would effectively entitle any party that is adversely affected by a non-dispositive motion to interlocutory review,” he wrote. “This stands in direct conflict with established precedent stating that interlocutory review is rare.”