How Google’s GPS app could help save the planet
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By Tom Ben-GhiatThe Jerusalem Post”GPS is a crucial tool that allows people to easily find places they want to go,” said Yair Rosenfeld, a senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which is representing the plaintiffs.
“Google’s decision to stop making GPS apps for Android phones and make them available only through Apple’s iOS operating system is a terrible mistake that will cost the world many billions of dollars in lost revenue.”
The lawsuit seeks to compel Google to restore the apps by removing its apps from Google Play and making them available for free through the Apple App Store.
Google, which has said that it plans to roll out the apps to all Android phones, said last month that it would discontinue the devices if the suit was successful.
The suit is being brought by the Electronic Freedom Foundation, an American civil liberties group, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, which filed it last week in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
The suit asks for an unspecified amount of money in damages.
“The lawsuit is based on Google’s willful failure to deliver apps to customers that are compliant with the [U.S.]
DMCA,” said Eli Cerny, the legal director at the EFF.
“The DMCA gives us an incredible tool to address online copyright infringement.
But Google’s failure to implement a plan to address its own software flaws in a timely manner leaves millions of people unable to access the internet.””
I’ve never seen a more brazen effort to stifle speech, and I’ve never heard one more brazen,” said Cernys co-founder and director of technology at the ACLU of Northern Florida.
“It’s a very sad state of affairs.”
The EFF said in a statement on Wednesday that it has filed two similar lawsuits challenging other apps that Google has discontinued, including those that allowed users to check their Facebook and Twitter accounts and to view their bank accounts.
“Google is a major threat to online freedom, and today’s announcement sends a strong signal that it is serious about addressing these problems,” said Sarah Isgur Flores, a staff attorney with the Electronic Privacy Information Center.
Google declined to comment on the suit.
In a statement, Google said it “rejects the lawsuit as baseless and false.”
“We’re continuing to work with the courts to ensure that users continue to be able to access and use Google’s services,” it said.
“We will be releasing additional information as soon as it becomes available.”
The complaint says the app was made available on Google Play “in early 2014, but Google had not yet developed a robust and comprehensive fix for the problem.
This is a matter of public record.”
According to the lawsuit, Google began to implement the fix “just after it had released a software update in September 2014 that made the software compatible with iOS devices and, in the meantime, it began to work on a fix for iOS 7 users who were not affected by the update.”
Apple, the world’s largest software company, has maintained that it continues to maintain strict policies and policies to prevent copyright infringement, and Google has repeatedly asserted that its apps are “free.”
The Electronic Frontier Center is a nonprofit civil liberties organization dedicated to online privacy and free speech.
Follow the Center on Twitter @EFFand on Facebook.
By Tom Ben-GhiatThe Jerusalem Post”GPS is a crucial tool that allows people to easily find places they want to go,”…
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