Sunday December 04, 2022

Google sued by DC, three states and three other countries for ‘deceptive Android location tracking

Three states’ attorneys general and the District of Columbia have sued Google over allegedly misleadingly collecting location data from Android. These complaints are based on a 2020 lawsuit by the Arizona Attorney General. They claim that Google’s “complex Web” of settings made it difficult to determine whether users were sharing their locations at any given moment. They also claim that Google forced Android users to share more information with “repeated nudging”, misleading pressure tactics and evasive, deceptive descriptions”. This could be either out of frustration or inadvertently. “Google falsely led consumers into believing that changing their device settings and account settings would allow them to protect their privacy, and control what personal information the company could access,” stated DC Attorney General Karl Racine. “The truth is that Google continues to systematically monitor customers and make a profit from customer data, contrary to its representations.”
Racine filed today’s suit against Google accusing it of violating DC’s Consumer Protection Procedures Act. Similar suits are being filed in their respective jurisdictions by state attorneys general from Washington and Texas.
The DC complaint alleges that Google’s settings “pretend to give consumers control over the Google location data they collect and use.” Google’s confusing, ambiguous and incomplete descriptions of these settings almost guarantee that consumers won’t understand how their location data is used by Google. The DC suit is similar to the Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich’s earlier lawsuit. It draws heavily from a 2018 Associated Press Report that found that “many Google services on Android phones and iPhones store location data even if it’s not allowed by Google.”
Google declined to comment when we reached them, pointing out recent changes such as the ability to delete location history automatically.
Jos?, a spokesperson for Google policy, stated that “the attorneys general are bringing an action based on inaccurate claims or outdated assertions about the settings.” Casta?eda. Casta?eda.
A judge in Arizona denied a request to summary judgment last week, saying that there wasn’t enough evidence that Google had misled consumers. The judge recommended that the case be proceeded with a jury trial to address “a multitude of factual issues,” which Brnovich indicated he would pursue.

Back to Top
%d bloggers like this: