Tech

Three U.S. states and the District of Columbia are suing Google for location tracking

Texas, Indiana, Washington state and Columbia County are suing Google, which owns Alphabet, for what they call fraudulent location tracking practices that violate users’ privacy. “Google has misled consumers into believing that changing their account and device settings will allow customers to protect their privacy and control what personal data the company may have access to,” the attorney general’s office said in a statement. Washington, Carl Racin.

The truth is that contrary to Google’s claims, it continues to systematically monitor customers and profit from customer data. Google’s bold misconceptions are a clear violation of consumer privacy“It is said in the statement, transmitted by the Guardian.

“Location data is key to Google’s advertising business. “The company has a financial incentive to deter users from wanting to protect access to that data,” said a statement from Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson.

The lawsuit cites a 2018 article in the Associated Press that found that Google continues to track users’ locations even when users have turned off the “location history” setting. The company claimed that disabling that setting would stop any location tracking when in reality there was a special setting called “Web and Application Activity” that continued to record location and other personal data.

A spokesman for Google, Jose Castaneda, said: “Public prosecutors are launching a case based on inaccurate allegations and outdated allegations about our settings. We have always incorporated privacy features into our products and provided strong controls for location data. “We will vigorously defend ourselves and break the record.”

In May 2020, the state of Arizona filed a similar lawsuit against Google for collecting user location data. That lawsuit is still pending in court.

Google is facing several lawsuits and investigations. In December 2020, public prosecutors in several US states sued Google, claiming that the company was misleading publishers and advertisers about the price and process of advertising auctions. The lawsuit alleges that Google retained control of the ad-dominated marketplace by increasing the price of branded ads and suppressing competition from other ad exchanges.

In a separate lawsuit, the US Department of Justice in October 2020 accused the technology company of abusing its position to maintain an illegal monopoly on search and search advertising. „Two decades ago, Google became a Silicon Valley favorite as a bad startup with an innovative way of searching the emerging Internet. That Google is long gone“, It is said in that lawsuit.

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