Google bans tracking tool that sold users’ location data

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Google has banned a company that sold Android users’ location data for COVID-19 mapping and other purposes, Motherboard reports. SafeGraph was one of several companies that collected geolocation records through plug-ins in other Android apps, then aggregated it for organizations including The New York Times and Centers for Disease Control.

According to Motherboard, Google told developers in June that they had to remove SafeGraph’s software development kit within seven days. Motherboard says it’s not clear whether SafeGraph is still collecting any data from Android apps, and The Verge has reached out to Google and SafeGraph to confirm.

SafeGraph’s ban follows an earlier crackdown on location-collecting apps. In December 2020, Google and…

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